The most highlighted non-fiction passage on Kindle

by on May 4, 2010 at 4:43 pm in Books, Web/Tech | Permalink

Can you guess the author?  The passage is this:

…the more money they made the next day on the streets. Those three things–autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward–are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It’s whether our work fulfills us.

The full list is here and it is worth a good look.  Keep in mind that Kindle readers are far more literate than average.  And if you need extra background, here is Kevin Drum on The Shack.

Hat tip goes to WillWilkinson.

1 Bock May 4, 2010 at 4:58 pm

The increasing weight of one-liners and short passages will eventually crush us all.

2 Ben May 4, 2010 at 5:29 pm

I wish they showed the numbers behind the list. The top 14 highlights are from just 4 books. Rounding out to top 25 only adds 3 more titles (for a total of 7). Small population?

3 Jonathan May 4, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Most highlighted passage, nonfiction or not.

4 Nikki May 4, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Gladwell, the Outliers.

5 Bock May 4, 2010 at 6:26 pm

If “most people agree” about the qualities that make work satisfying what is the point of bringing it to our attention? “Gee, I agree with that. Now I’m going to highlight it. In case anyone I work with disagrees I’ll be able to whip this thing out later and show them…. ”


6 Blake Cameron May 4, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Do certain books attract readers predisposed to highlighting — the outliers of underlying?

7 Dirk May 4, 2010 at 7:15 pm

I don’t get why so many bloggers and commenters hate Gladwell (not saying that Tyler does, but many do). Could it be envy of his success?

8 Bock May 4, 2010 at 7:22 pm

“I don’t get why so many bloggers and commenters hate Gladwell (not saying that Tyler does, but many do). Could it be envy of his success?”

Since when has Gladwell been successful?

9 John ludwig May 4, 2010 at 7:52 pm

“…Kindle readers are far more literate than average…”

The Shack and Dan Brown consumption would argue against this…

10 paulk May 4, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Seems to me that kindle readers are more likely to be those heading to work on the tube/metro, getting in some reading before they go to their rather depressing job… That would explain the most highlighted quote.

11 Donald A. Coffin May 4, 2010 at 11:24 pm

For reasons don’t feel like trying to articulate at this time of night,
the books in that list depress me. Especially if “Kindle readers are
far more literate than average.”

12 Careless May 5, 2010 at 1:07 am

Since when has Gladwell been successful?

He makes a ton of money. Outliers was ridiculous crap, but it was a success for the author/publisher

13 Joe Torben May 5, 2010 at 3:08 am

Anyone wondering what people have against Gladwell: google “igon value”.

And yes, Gladwell is very successful. Arguing otherwise is just silly. Arguing that sucess = quality is a completely different matter, and no one, least of all Gladwell, has done that.

14 Jason Malloy May 5, 2010 at 5:50 am

There is a boring narrowness on display here. The non-fiction highlights are all low calorie, corporate retreat motivational speaker pap. The fiction highlights are all bland, spiritual babble.

If you keep clicking, some politics, history, and non-spiritual fiction eventually creep in.

15 Candadai Tirumalai May 5, 2010 at 9:18 am

William Young’s “The Shaft” obviously finds a ready reception in
Kindle readers. Other people have said something like “Just because
you believe something firmly doesn’t make it true”; the observation,
though not original, is a useful corrective in relativistic
or subjective times.

16 DaveL May 5, 2010 at 10:22 am

Does the Kindle report back to the Mother Ship what you highlight? That’s something of an invasion of privacy, I’d say… Is it in the EULA? Is it an option?

I’d be embarrassed to have anyone (even Amazon) know I’d highlighted banal parts of banal books.

17 middyfeek May 5, 2010 at 11:18 am

@Dirk – re Gladwell, it’s because he’s a bullshitter. He’s the flavor of the moment, nothing more.

18 Scott May 11, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Do I take it as an economist you find that passage to be nonsensical?

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