This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



April 2024

A Short History of Top Books

On March 10th, I announced a new thing I was doing, the “Top Read and Tweeted Kindle Books” list. Well, I set it up using Twitter’s RSS feeds as the source, and they turned those off earlier this week. I think I could probably redo it using Twitter’s API (which is probably how it should have been done in the first place, but I was more familiar with the other way), but realistically, that would take me time that would be better used for other things, especially since I haven’t gotten any comments on this thing since I launched it, and I was probably the only one looking at it. So, goodbye Top Book thing. It was fun while it lasted!

It was actually interesting to watch over the past three months though.

Here is a chart of the performance of every book that made the Top 5 at any time during the run of my list. (The lines are extended to show 7 days before and 7 days after the days each book was actually in the Top 5.)

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 19.26.48

Click to embiggen if you want.

During the 95 days I have been running this analysis, there have been four books in the #1 slot:

Gone Girl and Gatsby swapped a bit before Gatsby took the clear lead.

Inferno is obviously crushing everybody at the moment. Almost 2% of everybody tweeting they finished a Kindle book recently were tweeting about finishing Inferno.

As of 2013-06-11 21:36:35 UTC when the last tweet was processed by my system, this was the Top 20:

Rank Tweets Book
1 325 Inferno by Dan Brown
2 127 The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
3 101 Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
4 68 Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
5 40 Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
6 39 Entwined with You by Sylvia Day
7 37 The Magpies by Mark Edwards
8 36 Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
9 35 World War Z by Max Brooks
10 (tie) 29 The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
12 (tie) 28 The Hit by David Baldacci
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
14 27 The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
15 25 The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
16 (tie) 24 The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
How to Talk to Girls at Parties by Neil Gaiman
18 23 Life Of Pi by Yann Martel
19 (tie) 22 The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

If anybody else out there would miss this though, let me know of course. :-)Anyway. Fun stuff. I would have had fun continuing to track this for awhile. But as I mentioned, probably not worth fixing.

Top Read and Tweeted Kindle Books

Time to put out the results of one of my latest projects.

If you want to jump straight to the end result, just check it out: Top Read and Tweeted Kindle Books

It is currently set to update automatically every hour.

For more details of what this is and what I did, read on…

Over the last few months, 15-30 minutes at a time, as I had a few moments, I’ve been working on putting something together that I’d been curious about for a long time. Namely, a while back a feature was added to Kindles to share that you had finished a book. When you get to the last page of a book, it asks you if you want to put a note on Facebook or Twitter that you have finished the book.

This naturally leads one to wonder… well, at least it leads me to wonder… which books people are finishing and how that compares to standard lists of what books people are buying. After all, probably most books that are bought do NOT actually get read, certainly not all the way through. These social media posts might give at least some window into that.

Now, to be clear, in the end, looking at these can NOT tell you about what people are reading. For one thing, it is just Kindle books. For another thing, it is only people who bother to connect their social sites to their Kindles. And then it is only the books that they choose to share publicly… there is surely lots of reading people just don’t want to share.

But I thought it would be interesting anyway. I concentrated on the Twitter side because I thought I had an idea how to do that. When people finish their books they can choose to edit and customize what they Tweet, but if they don’t, then the tweets have a standard format, and I could grab and parse those tweets. So I started collecting and grabbing that data. Then I set up stuff to remove as much of the “extra” stuff in the tweets as I could (although when people add custom stuff, I can’t really catch that), and then do some sorting and counting and such to come up with a ranked list. The parsing is by no means perfect, but it is good enough for now.

I tried looking at the last 10,000 tweets, but there were still way too many ties in the top 20. So I looked at the last 20,000 tweets, but given the current rate of these tweets you would have to go back farther in time than I wanted, so it would be pretty slow to respond to changes. For now I’ve settled at the last 16,384 tweets. Why 16,384? I am a geek, it is a power of two, it is between 10,000 with too many ties, and 20,000 with too much time, and at the current rate of tweeting it is pretty close to a month of tweets.

In any case, I put the last tweaks on this in the last 24 hours, and I figure now it is ready to go live.

To get the latest up to the hour counts, go to the page I’ve set up for this: Top Read and Tweeted Kindle Books

As of the hour I am posting this though, here is what the list looks like:

Data as of 2013-03-10 20:00:16 UTC, covering 16384 tweets over 31.96 days.
Includes tweets from 2013-02-06 20:54:17 UTC to 2013-03-10 19:58:16 UTC.

And there it is. Not quite the same as the bestseller lists, but fun to look at and see how it changes over time.

Oh, and yes, I know that it would be trivial to manipulate this list, since it just counts tweets in a specific format, and anybody could tweet as many tweets as they wanted in that format, no reading of a book required. But hey, still fun.