Cheeseburger Gothic

Book lists

Posted February 26, 2018 into Books by John Birmingham

I just wrote a long blog entry about The Washington Post including Amazon sales and 'reading' data in it's new 'best seller' and 'most read' lists.

Hit publish. Lost the lot. I'd left the desk long to go burn some pork crackling and while I was away, I'd been logged out.

My spirit is broken. I'm not gonna bother rewriting it, but I will throw in the feature quote, from Kathryn Rusch about the difference between the lists:

Amazon Most Read lists rank titles by the average number of daily Kindle readers and Audible listeners each week. Categories not ranked on Most Read charts include dictionaries, encyclopedias, religious texts, daily devotionals and calendars. All data is supplied by Amazon Charts and not edited by The Washington Post. The Post has no editorial influence on these lists.

I love toggling back and forth between the lists. Because you can see where people are spending their money, and you can see where they’re spending their time.

Two very, very different things. The top 15 fiction reads the week I’m finishing this blog include six Harry Potter books, and a lot of titles that have been published for months—or, in some cases (besides the Potter), years.

People read books when they get to them. People buy books when they have the money.

Books live in To-Be-Read piles. Some of those piles are digital books, and some of them are paper. But many, many, many readers wait until they’re in the mood for a particular kind of book before plucking it off their TBR pile.

Best seller lists have been broken for years. Because Amazon doesnt release sales data, a huge chunk of the market goes unreported. Audio- and ebooks, which now account for maybe half the genre fiction market (closer to 90% for some genres) simply didn't get a look in.

Also I do like the way Rusch shakes the difference between sold and read. My huge and teetering stack of shame should have alreted me long ago to the fact that they're not the same.

14 Responses to ‘Book lists’

jl mumbles...

Posted February 27, 2018
Cryin' shame you lost that. That would have been good reading.

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Lulu is gonna tell you...

Posted February 27, 2018
Yeah, it would have been.

"Books live in To-Be-Read piles"

So, it's not just me then?

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Bondiboy66 reckons...

Posted February 27, 2018
Ah yes....guilty as charged. Got a few books to read, but as I'm not travelling by public transport as much I don't have as much spare reading time as I'd like.

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Dave W reckons...

Posted February 27, 2018
So I only buy a book that I'm ready to read. I had no idea other people don't do this.

she_jedi is gonna tell you...

Posted March 2, 2018
I will buy books as I come across them, such as finding them in friends' houses or recommendations by same friends so that I don't forget about them and miss getting hold of them. They live in my iBooks app or Kindle app until I get around to them. If they're super crazy good they move to Shelfworthy(tm) status and I buy them in analogue format.

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted February 27, 2018
My Kindle occasionally cops a burst of 4 or 5 purchases, sometimes a cheap series, sometimes a couple of classics. A few different genres which get split between happy hour boozy reading and contemplative thinky reading. There's always a couple in there yet to be read. Proper books, with covers and pages 'n that are immediately devoured. Over all, since my kindle became a thing I've been reading a lot more. Price and convenience has everything to do with it.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted February 27, 2018
Bizarrely enough, your comment disappeared just like the original post. But now it's back. My comment, wondering where you'd got to, however, has gone to the Upside Down.

Brother PorkChop reckons...

Posted February 27, 2018
You've been watching Stranger Things again! Kids and I are loving it.
I have a small sack of books under the bed just gathering a shedload of dust.
Kindle app on the iPad gets hit but I'm on a severe book budget so I'm on Kindle Unlimited. I have been through some good stuff, and not so good stuff. But it doesn't matter, if its not my thing I return it and get another. Bit like a library. Once I'm back in the black, I will hopefully get a grant from the Minister for Arts and Culture to buy some books I really want.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted February 27, 2018
Pork chop I should send you my overspill.

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted February 27, 2018
My only regret with my kindle is I can not rearrange my list into a read next list, it is either in order of purchase or alphabetical. I want to rearrange the list as a sort of a promise that I 'will' get to you, next I sware.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted February 27, 2018
What a brilliant idea!

Surtac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 1, 2018
I use Collections on the kindle to semi-organise my ebooks.

I have a TBR collection for general incoming unread titles and a Read collection for books I've finished (this helps keep the TBR collection smaller as I move ebooks from TBR to Read as I finish them).

Also I have a few others for specific authors and books they've recommended. Examples of these would be our gracious host here JB for his books and those recommended hereabouts; Warren Ellis and his recommendations; CJ Cherryh; stuff from the Baen Free Library and suchlike; and sundry others.

It seems to work for me, so far at least.

she_jedi is gonna tell you...

Posted March 2, 2018
A TBR and Read collection is genius! I tend to prefer iBooks as their collection feature seems easier to use, but I've only ever used the Kindle app for iPhone/iPad so could be doing Bezos a disservice. I have collections of my fave authors on the iPad, since if a new book for one of them turns up it gets read immediately.

I really like the idea of a TBR collection, it'll make keeping track of all my random purchases so much easier, and then I can keep my promise that I'll read them soon

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon reckons...

Posted February 28, 2018
I've always been a paper guy and never really got into the electronic form of reading (this may change though). But since i've taken ownership of five acres of land reading for pleasure has dropped off significantly. Audible has come to the rescue though! Doing chores is pretty good now (as opposed to listening to the sounds of nature while i work, which is also pretty excellent) - the last book i heard was Kings of the Wyld. The accent took a bit of getting used to but that was a great book. Some genuine laugh out loud moments.
I have a list in my phone of "to read" as well. That gets longer every day. But i hold off on my purchasing until i'm ready. The list swaps in order as i feel and number one might drop a few places by the time i come to actually buying something.
If authors self publish I'm assuming my buying model would suit them better as sometimes i don't get to a book until it is heading for the seconds bin in the old way of book selling.

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