The juicy details on your digital reading

The juicy details on your digital reading | Modern Mrs Darcy

The juicy details on your digital reading | Modern Mrs Darcy

I typically prefer hold-in-my-hand books to the digital variety, but ebooks have a major advantage I tend to forget about: digital reading produces a treasure trove of mineable data. 

Depending on how you purchase and choose to read your ebooks, you (or more often, the book seller) can track when you start reading and when you stop, what you highlight and what you just skim, when you speed up and when you slow down, and exactly where you abandon the book entirely.

I would love to access my own ebook reading stats, especially after hearing Ann Kingman share her experience with hers on the Books on the Nightstand podcast. (It’s one of my favorites.)

I’d love to spy on other readers, too—in the nerdy sense, not the scary one! What books do they start, what passages do they highlight, what do they binge read?

I don’t know the answers for every reader, but the ebook service Oyster put together an infographic showing how their readers engage with Pride and Prejudice.

I would love to know my own stats on this book—it’s one of my favorites, obviously—but this is the next best thing.



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  1. That is fun information to have, but it also makes me feel a little weird because it’s sort of Big Brotherish (or whatever the Austen equivalent would be … a Big Lady Catherine de Bourgh watching you read?).

    I have to confess, I’m totally a paper gal. I’m in love with the feel and smell and weight of books. That said, I guess there are also cool things one can do with technology and reading. Maybe it’s like the bonus material on a DVD.

    • Anne says:

      Yes and yes: fun and a little creepy. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately—I guess it depends on who has all the info on me, and how they’re using it.

  2. Anne says:

    That’s fun. I think it’s neat to read an ebook and see others’ favorite passages. It usually saves me from highlighting it myself. However, I’ve realized that I would like to write down more quotations from ebooks, and I need to stop and do it more while reading. There’s got to be an electronic way to do this. Any tips? Like, copy and paste and it zips off into Evernote or something? You know what I mean? Maybe there’s an interactive feature on my iPhone or even the actual (old) Kindle that I am not aware of.

    As for P&P, hahaha! Of course that’s when we read faster. When I read it, I had to stop myself from skimming to just get to the next good Darcy part. Geez. 😉

    • Anne says:

      For a while I used the photo text recognition feature on Amazon to “highlight” passages in books I was reading, but that wasn’t a smashing success, mostly because Evernote and I have never really gotten comfortable with each other. If you have a better relationship with Evernote than I do, that could be a solution. But I’m not there!

    • Beka says:

      If you sync your kindle with goodreads, all your highlights are saved with your book updates and you can look at them anytime.

  3. Bonnie says:

    That makes me feel very weird, to know people can tell all that about my Kindle reading. I still much prefer real books although I have WAY too many of them.

    And I have no idea how to highlight with mine! It was a hand-me-down gift so therefore no instructions. How can I figure out–and, pray tell, what other neat features am I missing out on?

  4. Carla says:

    It’s like modern day social media marketing tracking for a timeless classic.

    It also really interests me. I want to see what kind of reading patterns exist in more (for lack of a better word) titillating modern young adult books.

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