Amazon has released an early preview of a Kindle software update. The update comes with various new features including the “Public Notes” feature, which lets Kindle users share their book notes and highlights with other people.

Readers can choose what they want to share. Amazon’s blog explains the social aspect of Public Notes: “This feature lets Kindle users choose to make their book notes and highlights available for others to see.  Any Kindle user – including authors, their fans, book reviewers, professors and passionate readers everywhere – can opt-in to share their thoughts on book passages and ideas with friends, family members, colleagues, and the greater Kindle community of people who love to read.  This is a new way for readers to share their excitement and knowledge about books and get more from the books they read.”

Other features included in the software update include a “Real Page Numbers” feature which is designed to help readers cite works with a single fixed page number.  GalleyCat explains this in more detail. The update also includes a “Before You Go” feature that lets readers rate books once they have reached the end of the book.