Scribd has examined user data over the two-week period following the October 1, public launch of its e-book subscription service. It found that 4.5 books were browsed for every book read, and that, in total, subscribers to the service spent the equivalent of 9.6 years reading books. The company also projected that “power readers” would read 10 book per month.
One such power reader in Wichita, Kans., spent 45 hours reading in a single week. According to the report, the Apple iPad is the most popular reading device among subscribers, followed by a bunch of Android devices (Nook, Kindle, and Nexus7). In addition—thanks to the wonders of Big Data analysis—Scribd reports that its subscribers are more likely to read nonfiction than fiction on tablet devices.
General fiction is the most popular e-book genre among Scribd subscribers, followed closely by business, family and relationships, romance, religion, body and spirit, science, and science fiction. In addition, a reader who begins a romance novel is twice as likely to finish it as one who starts a business book, not surprisingly.
Scribd also supplied a list of the most popular titles read through the service in countries and regions around the world. Perhaps the list can be read as offering an indirect—and in some cases humorous—perspective on each country or region’s literary taste: The Complete Joy of Homebrewing (Canada); Shit My Dad Says (U.S.); The Alchemist (U.K.); I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (Eastern Europe), A Series of Unfortunate Events (South Africa); The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening (Brazil); The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (Argentina); The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (India); The Professor and the Madman (Japan); and Water For Elephants (Australia).
And finally, the most popular book read on Scribd’s subscription e-book service over the two weeks from October 1–15 was Paulo Cuelho’s The Alchemist.