At first, I was sort of bummed out to read this Kobo study that says only 35% of religious e-books sold in North America on their platform in 2014 were read all the way through ﹘ putting that category at the bottom of the charts. Romance, as you might imagine, is at the top (62%).
But as I thought about it, I often buy books of all types that I don’t read for a year or two ﹘ especially if I find a good price. In the old days, these purchases went on our to-be-read piles. I guess we still have them, even though the piles are digital now.
It makes sense that more people read romance novels all the way through in the same year in which they purchase them because they are known for being voracious readers, and they tend to read primarily in that genre.
I can’t help but wonder, though, whether Kobo classified all religious fiction as “religion” or did they spread out the religious titles into the various genres? If they did the latter, that would skew the numbers. Also, people who read religious books often mix in classic literature and other mainstream works, so naturally we don’t always read books we purchase in the same year.
Beyond all of these numbers, I can’t help but wonder if generations before us would have tolerated such reporting features. I love e-books, and I loved e-readers, but I’m not so crazy about retailers knowing which books I’ve read all the way through, and which ones I haven’t even opened.
That ship has sailed though. It’s the cost of embracing technology.
Lee Warren is a freelance writer and editor who has written twelve non-fiction books, one novella and hundreds of articles for various newspapers and magazines as well as edited more than 50 books that currently appear in print. He's a fan of NASCAR, baseball, tennis, books, movies and coffee shops.
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