Do You Read in the Nude?

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

Why did you put that biography down? You know – the biography of Thomas Jefferson? Don’t tell me you didn’t. You stopped reading on page 156. We saw you.

Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other producers of e-book readers know this and a lot more about your reading habits. They’ve developed some spookily sophisticated – and potentially invasive – ways to reach into your e-reader and finesse revealing information out of it, says Laura Hazard
Owen in a GigaOm posting, Big e-reader is watching you. In fact Barnes & Noble has “more data than we can use,” says an executive there.

The techniques are classified information, but Owen thinks these companies are converting what they’ve learned into new ways to capture and hold readers. For instance, if B&N know that you, and a lot of readers like you, are likely to put nonfiction down without finishing it, it may start producing shorter works that will grab your attention – and satisfy it. That may explain why Nook has launched Nook Snaps, a publishing initiative dedicated to shorter works, not dissimilar to Amazon Singles.

What else do they know about you? The possibilities are disturbing. Probably a good idea to cover up before you switch on your Kindle, Nook or iPad.

Richard Curtis

3 thoughts on “Do You Read in the Nude?

  1. Patrick Lee

    Don’t worry about putting down that Jefferson biography after 156 pages. You can get our 3rd Prez in bite sized pieces! Thomas Jefferson now blogs at
    Several times each week, he posts briefly on a variety of topics. Recent posts were:
    – “Are rules made to be broken?”
    – “Have you walked 10,000 steps today?,” and
    – “Is there a doctor in the house?”
    July 2’s post was “WWJD?” July 4 featured an interesting tidbit from Jefferson’s personal notes on July 4, 1776.
    His posts this week deal with his final will and testament.



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