Today, I have a duo of equally absorbing posts from different ends of the writing-world spectrum. In the business department, we have the results of a Goodreads survey with some reader statistics; in the quality-of-life department, a post about slowing down.
Thanks to Jon Gibbs for linking to this article, an analysis by Goodreads of survey on how readers find and read some books.
There are limits on interpreting these data: only two books, both quite
well-known, are discussed. It would be interesting to see how readers
discover books that aren't as widely buzzed-about. The results came from
a survey of Goodreads readers--a specific and apparently self-selecting
community. The survey was also designed to answer publishers'
questions, some of which interest me more than others.
disclaimers aside, there are some interesting items in there. Such as,
the prominent place of "trusted friend" and "everyone talking about it"
as big reasons for people to read a book. And the fact that 37% of their
survey respondents read e-books on cell phones, which boggles my mind,
since the last thing I ever look for is a smaller screen on which
to read. (Obviously, these must be young people who have not yet begun
the squinting, arm's-length reading, and "Why does print have to be so
small?" travails of middle age.) Another "wow" is the role of libraries
as the most popular place for respondents to get their books. The
print/e-book percentage for those two books is also interesting (almost
half-and-half for one book, with print retaining a slight edge; more
like two-thirds print/one-third other formats for the other book).
there is the preferred-format question. The largest group, 45%, prefers
to read print and e-books. 21% like both formats plus audiobooks. When
people prefer only one format, here's how it breaks down: print 23%,
e-book 9%, audiobook 1%. While I expect e-book adoption to continue to
grow, so far these numbers support what I've always maintained: readers
and authors are best served by books being available in a variety of
formats. We should not hasten to push the e-book or the print book out of the marketplace.
And now, for a change of pace. Julie Owsik Ackerman
recently blogged: "... I also fill my days completely. Do I have five
minutes before a friend arrives? I’ll put in a load of laundry and wash
the dishes. Ten minutes before Daniel will likely wake? I’ll write a
draft of an essay, check my email, and call the portrait studio about
ordering those wallets. Yes, I’m efficient, but many days I feel harried
and stressed. I hoped that by slowing my pace to a jog, I might enjoy
life more ..." Follow the link to see her plan.