Didn't Finish That E-Book? Your Digital Librarian Knows
New subscription services track data, feed it back to publishers
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2013 11:39 AM CST
A Nook GlowLight, top, a Kindle Paperwhite, right, and a Kobo Aura.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(Newser) – If you happened to pick up Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.'s The Cycles of American History in e-book form and read it in full, congratulations. You are among the 1% who made it all the way through, at least according to the digital library startup Oyster. That's one of the nuggets highlighted in a New York Times story today on how Oyster and similar subscription services such as Scribd and Entitle are trying to change the publishing game: People pay for the privilege of access to a large digital library, and those libraries collect scads of information about what people are reading and how they are reading it.

For example:

  • "The longer a mystery novel is, the more likely readers are to jump to the end to see who done it," writes David Streitfeld. "People are more likely to finish biographies than business titles, but a chapter of a yoga book is all they need. They speed through romances faster than religious titles, and erotica fastest of all."
The libraries say they keep the data anonymous but will share it with the publishers and writers who agree to make their books available to them. As young-adult author Quinn Loftis puts it, “What writer would pass up the opportunity to peer into the reader’s mind?” Click for the full story.

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Showing 3 of 5 comments
Dec 29, 2013 8:54 AM CST
yeah!! i rather have a real printed paper book anytime than one of these e-books you read on your whatever you own. and i don't need any electricity to run it. period!!!
Dec 27, 2013 7:23 PM CST
i invented the Kindle...
Ezekiel 25:17
Dec 26, 2013 12:12 PM CST
"The Cycles of American History" should be used as punishment in juvenile correction centers.