A LibraryThing Oddity

Mon Mar 15, 2010

Like, I suppose many users of LibraryThing, I am curious about statistics the site provides about its users. While I understand why Harry Potter, Twilight, Douglas Adams, and a series of high school and college staples would be among the most popular books owned, I don’t quite see why Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex would be the sixtieth most-owned item, with an astounding 14,000 copies listed. (Oh. Wikipedia just told me that it was in Oprah’s book club. I still don’t think I have a good handle on the LibraryThing demographic, though.)

Why are there more than a thousand copies of Charles Palliser’s The Quincux and usually only several hundred for most of Lem’s works? Mysteries of this type abound. I suppose they wouldn’t surprise me as much if I knew more about sales figures, but there’s little chance, is there, that the LibraryThing user overlaps substantially with the book-buying public at large? Well, probably. It does seem to have an improbable number of users.