Sunday, March 18, 2007

Unread But Popular Books

I am one of those people that gut it out and must finish a book once I have started it. Ulysses is the only book I have not completed but it is also the only book I have listened to on tape. (My most titanic battle to complete a book was waged with Dom Delillo over Underworld). This list identifies some titles unread that are surprizing particularly Harry Potter, but if you realize that many adults purchased the Potter books for themselves then this may not be too strange. Of interest too is the Bill Clinton book. I recall when it came out that there were grumbles about the lack of editing which would have reduced the length of the book and also resulted in more detail and reflection on the controversies. That is, it could have been more entertaining. Here is the list of unfinished fiction:

1 Vernon God Little, DBC Pierre
2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
3 Ulysses, James Joyce
4 Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis De Bernieres
5 Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
6 The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
7 The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
8 War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
9 The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
10 Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky

Clearly length of book has nothing to do with completion. In reading the comments, I was reminded that I also had the same experience having finished The Hobbit and attempting to read The Lord of The Rings. Regardless of my experience, one of those pointless best of lists places TLTR at number 2 in a most popular list. Here is the full list of fiction titles:

1. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (20%)
2. Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien (17%)
3. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte (14%)
4. Harry Potter books, JK Rowling (12%)
5. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (9.5%)
6. The Bible (9%)
7. Wuthering Heights , Emily Bronte (8.5%)
8. Nineteen Eighty Four, George Orwell (6%)
8. His Dark Materials , Philip Pullman (6%)
10. Great Expectations , Charles Dickens (5.5%)
This is clearly as list conducted in Greater Britain since I am sure if this were done in the US that The Bible would be number one.

In a split second of inspiration (now I have a headache), I took a look at the top ten authors and titles at librarything and here is the list by number of copies:
  1. J.K. Rowling (86,828)
  2. Stephen King (67,781)
  3. Terry Pratchett (67,253)
  4. Neil Gaiman (55,061)
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien (51,560)
  6. C. S. Lewis (48,761)
  7. William Shakespeare (35,905)
  8. Isaac Asimov (29,170)
  9. Jane Austen (28,822)
  10. Douglas Adams (27,633),
And here is the list of the top 15 books held by librarything participants:
  1. Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone (13,366)
  2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (13,064)
  3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (12,259)
  4. Harry Potter and the goblet of fire (11,792)
  5. Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban (11,678)
  6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (11,612)
  7. The Da Vinci code (10,572)
  8. The Hobbit (9,248)
  9. 1984 (9,182)
  10. The catcher in the rye (8,954)
  11. Pride and prejudice (8,398)
  12. To kill a mockingbird (7,715)
  13. The great Gatsby (7,494)
  14. The lord of the rings (6,660)
  15. Jane Eyre (6,292),

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