When I was very young I owned a Brownie Bullet, purchased for a special family visit to the
This has, I think, much in common with books and what's going on today with our Kindles.
“Everyone knew” that book sales would drop drastically. . .But instead of collapsing, book sales in the
have soared since TV first came in. They have grown several times as fast as every indicator had predicted, whether family incomes, total population in the ‘book reading years,” or even people with higher degrees. No one knows why this happened. Indeed, no one quite knows what really happened. Books are still as rare in the typical American home as before. Where, then, do all their books go? United States
1. What books I own. Not my family. Not my wife and me. Just me. And, how many hours a week I really read, instead of those lies I tell to market researchers.
2. The order in which I read my books, including skipping among them. And, as I mentioned in my last post on Kindle, which books I have that might influence additional purchases.
3. The other reading media (like magazines) that influence the pace of my book reading.
4. Which books I don’t finish (like Gravity's Rainbow; three valiant starts, never past page 50).
5. Which books I finish. Which I finish quickly. (In other words, imagine a publisher knowing what’s really being consumed, and at what pace, instead of simply purchased.) Information could be sent back to the author: more scenes with saltwater and sharks.
6. (Now, here’s where it gets really interesting. . .) What sections of a book slow me down, speed me up, or cause me to skip over.
(2016 update: See this post about Jellybooks, a reading analytics company. It took only seven years for the speculation in this post to become reality."