New Amazon Charts Make Everyone A Literary Insider

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Everyone hits a reading slump — when no matter how many times you cruise through the library or how many friends you hit up for recommendations, you just can't find the perfect book for your ~mood.~ Feeling stuck? The new Amazon Charts make everyone a literary insider. You want the book gossip, you got the book gossip.

On May 18 (that's today!), Amazon launched its new collection of charts, aimed at providing additional insight into the reading habits of Amazon customers. In many ways the first of its kind, the list reimagines the concept of what it means to be a bestseller. Is it the number of pre-orders a book racks up, or is it the e-book that the highest number of people are actively reading? How do borrowed books fit into the equation?

“Many well-known bestseller lists today add, remove, or re-rank books based on editorial considerations," said Amazon's Vice President, David Naggar, in a recent press release. "Customers have asked for a bestseller list that is based on reading engagement and sales data, rather than an opinion-based list of what books they should be paying attention to."

Consider it the ultimate crowd-sourced reading list.

In order to compile these lists, though, Amazon does actively monitor the reading habits of its millions of users. Even the literary world isn't immune to the encroachment of Big Data, my dudes. Surveillance is the price you pay for free shipping and price cuts.

Additionally, there is something to be said for the books that aren't racking up reader points, whether it be because of a limited publishing run, weird cover, lesser known author, or lack of widespread appeal. If you're looking for under-appreciated gems, my advice to head to a bookstore IRL.

Anyway, ready to get really nosy? Get to know Amazon's newest charts, just in time for summer.

Happy reading!

Top 20 Most Read list

In charting which books are most actively consumed via Kindle and Audible on a daily basis, Amazon can now rank (to a degree) the books that readers quite literally can't put down (or turn off), week to week.

Top 20 Most Sold list

Sold, borrowed, pre-ordered — Amazon tracks the data for all of these categories, in tangible books, e-books, and Audible downloads.

The stories behind the books

A deep dive into reader habits, Amazon's "stories behind the books" look at everything from which books were most anticipated (read: which books have the highest rates of pre-order) to which books were actively consumed over the past week.