Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Kindle Highlights

The Kindle has this nice feature where readers can highlight passages in a book as they are reading it; Amazon then keeps track of the most popular ones and displays them on the book's product page. Regarding Ducks and Universes has been out for just over a month and I thought it'd be interesting to document the most popular highlights so far.

If you haven't read the book, these probably won't make much sense, but I'm finding it quite fascinating to see what people are marking. The third quote from the bottom is particularly interesting as I took it out in the editing process at one point (since it wasn't strictly necessary for the scene) but ended up putting it back in simply because, well, I liked it.

Here they are, the most popular highlights so far:
"I was stuck somewhere in between, with neither the blind confidence of youth that everything would turn out as imagined nor the experience that builds up as years pass that it wouldn’t matter if it didn’t."
Highlighted by 9 Kindle users

“My husband used to say, ‘Danger makes life worth living.’”
“Did he?”
“Of course that was before the hang-glider malfunction, the poor dear.”
Highlighted by 7 Kindle users

"...it makes little sense to pack a bunch of heavy books and lug them along when you travel."
Highlighted by 5 Kindle users

“...we all know that we have the power to change our lives. But in the back of our mind is a tally of all the times that things didn’t turn out as expected because of random chance, other people’s behavior, false assumptions we’d made, or the disconnect between how we see ourselves and who we really are. We therefore know that most likely things will not turn out as we expect them to, so we try to take that into account but end up going in circles and doing nothing."
Highlighted by 4 Kindle users

"I spent a few minutes fully engrossed in the textbook, having forgotten where I was and why I was there, the highest compliment one can pay a book, I suppose."
Highlighted by 4 Kindle users

“After all, when Socrates faced the brand-new technology of the written word, he DID NOT LIKE IT at all. It takes time to get used to things."
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users

"Everything felt slightly off, like being served chocolate mousse on a paper plate or wine in a mug."
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users
Of course I'm assuming these are all passages actually liked by readers and not marked for other reasons, such as "this sentence is lousy and should have been reworded", or "this sentence has a typo in it," or something of that sort.

Incidentally, I'm quite sure a few typos did manage to sneak in even after all the edits and proofreads Regarding Ducks and Universes went through. It's just the nature of the beast. All things considered, though, I think I'd rather you send the publisher (or me) an email if you do happen to come across a typo, not use the highlights feature!