The Most Popular Passages in Books, According to Kindle Data

by Rachel Baker on November 3, 2014

In some ways, others people’s highlights in a book are interesting – one of the reasons I like used books. In other ways, I don’t care what other people highlight – one of the reasons why I turned off the function on my kindle. I do, however, sometimes scan through the xray function to see what it is others have highlighted. I am often times saddened because many of the popular highlights seem to be nothing but a highlight to help with a class paper or something – you know what I mean, a plot point, a character flaw example.

One of the reasons why I think Amazon does not release sales data for Kindles is because a bunch of it would make damn sense – you can’t learn anything from the sales of free books and less than $5.00 books – they are cheap and people like to read. I am equally sure the powers that be who start to analyze “most-popular highlights” will also learn absolutely nothing of relavence, but will probably try to pass it off as some new breakthrough in defining reading and readers.

Truly, I think this story is only vaguely interesting; and the interest is more of a negative than positive.

maybe I’m cynical, but really…what could you possibly surmise from the most popular highlight from Pride and Prejudice being

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

or the snippet that explains the rules of the Hunger Games in one paragraph. There are some good morale and lifehack advice from the Harry Potter highlights, but for the most part, the most-popular highlights in Kindle books are nothing more than reminders for writing a kick ass review or school paper.

Read more: The Most Popular Passages in Books, According to Kindle Data

New data from Amazon, released to The Atlantic, gives us a peek at what, specifically, readers connect with. These are the most popular highlights in some of the service’s most popular books.

Amazon doesn’t release sales data for Kindles, so the question of what makes the list of most-popular highlights is somewhat interesting. It takes more than 4,000 highlights to make something the most popular passage in Pride and Prejudice, but only about 650 for something to be the most popular highlight in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to Become a Patron or to follow on Twitter.

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