Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday Thingers: Popularity

This weeks topic for the Tuesday Thingers group:
What's the most popular book in your library? Have you read it? What did you think? How many users have it? What's the most popular book you don't have? How does a book's popularity figure into your decisions about what to read?

Well, to start, I hope I'm understanding the question – it's very late (or very early, depending on how you look at such things), and I may not be hitting on all cylinders right now.

But, statistically, it looks like the most popular book in my library, by far, is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. With 32,484 other LibraryThing members owning it, I guess if it's in your library, it's bound to be the most popular title. I have read it – in fact I just read it recently, for the Once Upon a Time II Challenge and I have a review of it on my blog. I actually enjoyed the book quite a lot, but I can't say I became a Harry Potter fan. I might read more of the series in the future, but don't have any plans to do it soon.

The most popular book that I don't have seems to be another Harry Potter (surprise!) – H.P. and the Half-Blood Prince is apparently the second most popular book with LT members (or at least, the second "most owned"): 29,939 of them to be exact. Well, can 29,939 book-obsessed cataloguers be wrong?

And finally, I honestly don't think statistical popularity has any influence at all in my decisions about what to read. That is, I'm not really swayed one way or another by numbers. I'm much more likely to be influenced by recommendations from reviewers and bloggers whose taste and judgment I trust.

5 comments:

  1. I'm with you. Lots of people could own the book but if folks that I know or trust don't say it's good, I'm less likely to want to read it.

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  2. I own all of the Harry Potter books but haven't read a one. That skews the statistics doesn't it? I didn't check to see the most popular book by the number of members who rated or reviewed it. That would be interesting.

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  3. I do think that the HP books got much better after the first one. So consider giving the next book a try. Better, but darker.

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  4. That's it exactly! While ultimately whether I am interested in a particular subject matter will be the final determining factor as to whether I read a particular book, sometimes recommendations and blog reviews of people I trust do influence me.

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