Monday, March 25, 2013

The Most "Bought", Least Read Book On Amazon

How many times have we seen a book released or re-released about the same time a much anticipated movie is released?  I've seen dozens of them.  Most of the time it's because a popular movie was based on an earlier book and the moviegoers want to dwell a little longer in the world the movie helped create.  When no book is available the big entertainment conglomerates like Time Warner will "create" a companion book from the movie screenplay.

Generally I see no problem with this, even though the screenplay to book concept is usually a bad one. It is certainly a smart marketing ploy though.

But since I live in the land of books, and not movies, I've noticed Amazon does a brisk business marketing books if they are in any way connected to the subject of a recent movie.

So, I was amused to see a century old biography of Lincoln begin to climb the charts as soon as Spielberg began promoting his movie of the same name.  Most of my book buys these days are via the E-books in the Amazon Kindle store.  In an age where Americans devote so little time for reading, when folks lean so hard on "instant gratification" I wondered just how the old Lincoln biography fared.  Without the "pretty luminosity" of a Spielberg film and the intensely talented Daniel Day Lewis, how well does a bio written in 19th century prose hold the movie fan's attention?

I'll venture a guess that many of these free, or low priced, Kindle books go unread.  And no, I can't say that with any authority....with the exception of the latest Kindle book ordering craze showing up on Amazon's Top 100.  It seems that quite a lot of folks went out and watched Les Miserables, a three and a half hour film just oozing human misery.

Well folks, I've read the Victor Hugo novel Les Miserables.  And if you think the movie was long, try the 2,000 plus pages of the book.  I slogged through those 2,000 plus pages in college many years ago. It was not an easy task, even for a voracious reader like me.

So when I see those thousands of folks wading through the Amazon "free book" list and coming across Les Miserables, I suspect most have bit off more than they can chew.  So I'm betting Les Miserables, the book, is setting records for the most book orders placed and the least read.

Pardon my snobbery.  For those rare creatures who give attention to books and movies equally, enjoy the read.  To the "casual reader", my condolences.

Excuse me.  I have to go now.  I'm half way through War and Peace and expect to finish it sometime in the year 2016...just in time for the release of the movie version.  :)


  1. I remember reading "Les Miserables" as a sophomore in high school, and I really enjoyed the book. I've been a reader ever since I learned to read and I never had a problem reading whatever was required reading in school. If you want to read another many paged book, try "Atlas Shrugged". I've read that one twice.

  2. I read Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand too. Really enjoyed them. Thanks for commenting.