There are problems with the methodology, but ebook maker Kobo says they can roughly determine what ebooks are not being finished by readers. Apparently, for UK readers Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch is at the top of the list.
“A book’s position on the bestseller list may indicate it’s bought, but that isn’t the same as it being read or finished,” said Michael Tamblyn, president and chief content officer at Kobo. “A lot of readers have multiple novels on the go at any given time, which means they may not always read one book from start to finish before jumping into the next great story. People may wait days, months, or even until the following year to finish certain titles. And many exercise that inalienable reader’s right to set down a book if it doesn’t hold their interest.”
Oddly enough, an earlier study that measured the same thing by way of a speculative “Hawking Index” suggested that Tartt’s book actually was read by most people who had it on their ereader.
There are complaints that this shows how Big Brother is now looking over your shoulder at every page you turn, and they are justified. Reading has just become a little less private. One wonders how the data being collected is likely to be used in the future.