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Reading Habits Exposed

Is the age of Big Brother finally upon us? Well, not exactly, but according to David Streitfeld’s recent New York Times article, more and more companies are utilizing technology to monitor and track readers’ reading habits, giving authors and publishers deeper insight into what readers like and dislike in books.

While Amazon and Barnes & Noble already gather intel from people’s e-reader devices, a new wave of companies are taking it a step further. According to Streitfeld’s article, subscription-based online e-book distributors such as Scribd, Entitle and Oyster, which are quickly becoming the publishing equivalents of Netflix, are tracking information regarding actual reading habits. For example, Scribd’s analyses have determined that readers tend to skip to the end of long mystery novels in order to see how the mystery is solved and that erotica titles tend to be read faster than other genres.

The article also mentions that these companies hope to share their data and findings with authors and publishers. As Streitfeld notes, some industry members believe these insights are beneficial in creating and delivering books readers actually want to read. Others argue such information is damaging to the creative process.

What say you, RT readers and writers? Do you think companies should continue tracking your reading tendencies or do you want to keep reading a completely private and personal pastime? Let us know what you think in the comments and if you’d like to read the full article, click here.