Ebooks Can Tell Which Novels You Didn't Finish

This article by Alison Flood originally appeared on The Guardian on 12/10/14.

Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch put down prematurely by 55% of ebook readers, with self-published star Casey Kelleher holding most attention

The Goldfinch may have won Donna Tartt the Pulitzer, praised by judges as a novel which “stimulates the mind and touches the heart”, but the acclaimed title’s 800-odd pages appear to have intimidated British readers, with less than half of those who downloaded it from e-bookseller Kobo making it to the end.

New data from Kobo shows that, although The Goldfinch was the 37th bestselling ebook of the year for the retailer, it was completed by just 44.4% of Kobo’s British readers. Kobo speculated that it “likely proved daunting for some due to the length of the novel”.

Twelve Years a Slave, Solomon Northup’s account from 1853 of how he was kidnapped and sold into slavery – “I sighed for liberty; but the bondsman’s chain was round me, and could not be shaken off” – was, according to Kobo, similarly overwhelming. Ninth on their British bestseller list, following the hugely successful film adaptation, the book was completed by just 28.2% of British readers.


Read the full post on The Guardian.



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