Lots of folks have told me that they are reading my books on an e-reader like a Nook or Kindle. I thought you might be interested in a recent Wall Street Journal article called “Your E-Book is Reading You.”
It points out that electronic book devices send more data back to booksellers than people realize. They track how many hours you spend reading a book, what page you stop at, and whether you buy the sequel. You might be a little unnerved to hear how much information you’ve been sharing.
As an author, I thought I should thank you for one thing you’re sharing, even if its unwitting on your part. Normally, authors don’t get to peek over their readers’ shoulders as they read. But Amazon records whenever Kindle readers highlight a passage, and each book’s popular quotes are available on their site. This is actually really helpful to me as a writer, because I can see which topics interest people most, and which illustrations really stand out. That helps me know how to write more effectively and gives me ideas for future books.
If you’re curious, here are the Kindle pages for my books:
I find it interesting that the first pages of a book are always the most highlighted. That’s where I share important, basic information and key illustrations, of course. But what’s surprising is the lack of highlights at the end of books. That surprised me in Walking in the Dust, because some of my most provocative thoughts are toward the end. My spiciest chapters (at least in my own mind) are “Thinking with Both Hands,” “The Secrets God Keeps,” and “Our Longing Father,” but they don’t often get highlighted. Hmmm. Are people getting slowed down midway through the book so that they haven’t gotten there yet?
I don’t yet have an ebook reader of my own. I spend so much of my day glued to a computer that more screen time doesn’t appeal to me. I had also heard that there were formatting errors on the Kindle version of Sitting at the Feet. All of you e-readers, what do you think? Let me know.