Monday, May 3, 2010

Reading for Inspiration?

This is fascinating.

It's a list of the most heavily highlighted passages from Amazon Kindle users. Reading through them I learned two things:

1. Only 5 books exist.
2. People like inspirational quotes.

Browsing the list, it is apparent that we are a despressed nation, desperately grasping for bumper sticker quotes to make us feel better. Is this a reflection of what contemporary readers are looking for in their reading material? Are we reading more for personal fulfillment than for entertainment? I was a little concerned that there weren't more artful passages highlighted (actually, I couldn't find ANY until #75, the heavily quoted first line from Pride & Prejudice). Or even humorous passages. I'd hate to think humanity is reading entirely for self-help purposes, while everything aesthetic is deemed "filler."

I know I'm guilty of doing this, too. I love passages that provide a momentary zen feeling. So I'm making a conscious decision to post more blurbs that are notable for their literary merit, not just their "oh hey, I can really relate to that" factor.

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