Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Books Sci-Fi News

One Sci-Fi Author Wrote 29 of the Kindle's 100 Most-Highlighted Passages 239

Posted by Soulskill
from the precise-but-not-necessarily-accurate dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Today Amazon announced that a science fiction writer has become the Kindle's all-time best-selling author. Last June Suzanne Collins, who wrote the Hunger Games trilogy, was only the fourth author to sell one million ebooks, but this month Amazon announced she'd overtaken all her competition (and she also wrote the #1 and #2 best-selling ebooks this Christmas). In fact, 29 of the 100 most-highlighted passages on the Kindle were written by Collins, including 7 of the top 10. And on a separate list of recent highlights, Collins has written 17 of the top 20 most-highlighted passages." It's pretty interesting to go through the top-100 list and look at the passages people think are worth highlighting. Taken out of context, many of them could be patched together and re-sold as a self-help book. None are quite so eloquent as #18 in the recent highlights.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

One Sci-Fi Author Wrote 29 of the Kindle's 100 Most-Highlighted Passages

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 17, 2012 @06:17PM (#39392135)

    It's a recent publication that is required reading in a lot of schools. Of course a lot of it is highlighted, those are the answers to the tests.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 17, 2012 @06:19PM (#39392143)

    Gee, how shocking. A book which is getting a lot of advertising push in the run-up to a movie release just happens to be getting highlighted in an Amazon bookstore function designed to let you see what's popular. Gosh, I guess it must just be practically scientifically, objectively the most read book right now. You should probably buy it and check it out!

    • by glwtta (532858)
      Not really sure that you need to resort to conspiracy theories - the book is crazy popular right now; and yes, partly because of the massive advertising push for the movie (then again, it's getting a movie because it's crazy popular).

      If they did this 3 years ago, it'd be full of Twilight nonsense.
  • Which #18? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ambvai (1106941) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @06:27PM (#39392205)

    Which #18 is the summary referring to?

    "Press and hold, then drag your finger across text to select it. A dialog box will appear that lets you highlight the text, add a note, and so on. If several other Kindle users have highlighted a particular passage in the book you are reading, you will see that passage underlined. You can turn off these Popular Highlights in Settings. Notes appear as superscripted numbers within the text. To view a note the next time you visit that page, simply tap on the number."

    or

    "“Panem et Circenses translates into ‘Bread and Circuses.’ The writer was saying that in return for full bellies and entertainment, his people had given up their political responsibilities and therefore their power.”"?

    They're both oddly appropriate for self-help...

  • Nice passages (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 17, 2012 @06:52PM (#39392327)

    Astro-turf. Pop culture feel good quotes, coming to a theater near you, and and mindless platitudes. The Harry Potter star-maker machinery is at work again, I see.

    'bloomers' for the win. Ben Franklin would have loved that, the ol' whore monger.

  • Depressing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by macraig (621737) <`mark.a.craig' `at' `gmail.com'> on Saturday March 17, 2012 @06:55PM (#39392341)

    Seeing what statistically significant humans think is highlight-worthy is incredibly depressing. Is it any wonder the One Percent can manage to stay in control? Humans have opposable thumbs and can manage language, but wise they aren't. They can't discern platitudes and doublespeak from actual wisdom.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Thanks for posting that and saving me the trouble. When I saw the link to the 100 most highlighted passages, I thought great--a few new gems for my personal collection. Wow, was I wrong. Almost none of the passages were insightful or even interesting. For some real insightful and interesting quotes & passages, check out Robert Heinlein's "Notebooks of Lazarus Long". (FWIW, IMHO, YMMV and other standard disclaimers apply)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tomhath (637240)
      You know what else is depressing? There will always be a Top One Percent. No matter what. There will always One Percent that has more than the other Ninety Nine Percent. Deal with it.
    • Re:Depressing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Saturday March 17, 2012 @08:02PM (#39392657) Homepage

      Wait, you mean the most highlighted things come from the books the most people have? Say it isn't so!

      Hunger Games isn't a bad series. Would you prefer the top highlights be from Twilight? Or some terrible self help book by the latest fad guru? Or the newest diet sensation?

      Don't forget that not only have the Hunger Games book sold incredibly well, they were one of the promoted books for the "one free book a month for Prime subscribers" program.

    • by digitig (1056110)

      Seeing what statistically significant humans think is highlight-worthy is incredibly depressing.

      But it's at least least warned me not to bother reading The Hunger Games -- the quotes all seem trite and badly written to me, so it seems that the books are not for me.

      • by Fjandr (66656)

        The story is decent, but I'm not a fan of first person narratives. It's a rare writer who can pull it off without it detracting from the novel, and Collins isn't such a writer.

    • by wanzeo (1800058)

      They can't discern platitudes and doublespeak from actual wisdom.

      How do you think the bible got so popular? Now excuse me while I duck.

    • Don't worry, the Kindle hasn't been around long enough to be a real sample. Do you really think "The Hunger Games" is going to stay the most popular series of all time? No, in a few years it will be a memory, replaced by whatever comes next, and the quotes that ARE timeless will stick around, and move more and more to the top.
    • Seeing what statistically significant humans think is highlight-worthy is incredibly depressing. Is it any wonder the One Percent can manage to stay in control? Humans have opposable thumbs and can manage language, but wise they aren't. They can't discern platitudes and doublespeak from actual wisdom.

      I like to highlight completely inane random passages taken out of context on my kindle

    • Seeing what statistically significant humans think is highlight-worthy is incredibly depressing

      Sample bias.

      The only thing we know for sure is that child-murder-curious readers tend to highlight things on Kindles.

  • obligatory snark (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mako1138 (837520) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @07:01PM (#39392381)

    From my own highlight list:

    How much of old material goes to make up the freshest novelty of human life.
      --Nathaniel Hawthorne, House of the Seven Gables (1851)

  • by siddesu (698447) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @07:56PM (#39392639)

    One can find the origin of these rather shallow "deep thoughts" in much older literature. The requirement is just a little knowledge. E.g. the first on the "recent list" is a seriously dumbed-down Faust:

    When I say to the Moment flying;
    'Linger a while -- thou art so fair!'

    And so on.

  • The highlighted text:
    The New Oxford American Dictionary Contents About this book

    Truly inspiring

  • by Lord of the Fries (132154) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @10:54PM (#39393297) Homepage

    That read the first book and thought "Really?? This is what all the excitement is about?" I didn't care for Hunger Games at all. It was an engaging read admittedly. I kept turning the pages. But the foreshadowing of where things were headed seemed pretty shallow to me (no, I did not cheat and peek at the ending). My closing thoughts were "well, someone's hoping to cash in on a screenplay here" and a sort of dirty feeling. I felt like one feels when you slow down at the sight of a roadside accident to see if there's anything gory.

    I read the next two books just to see if it would get any good.

    I have this vague sense of irony about the whole thing. As I listen to people tell me why they just like this book so much, some times I feel like a big part of the reason they liked it was because everyone else seems to as well. It's cool, because if you're read it, you're in the club. And the club says it's good. Given that a major theme of the book is humanity's ability as a collective to ignore stuff that is wrong, this seems hugely ironic to me.

    If you enjoyed it, no offense meant. I respect that. To each his own. I liked the Mistborn series and Terry Pratchett novels far better than this among recent reads, and maybe you don't care for those.

    Am I the only person that didn't care for Hunger Games at all?

    • by Boronx (228853)

      "I read the next two books just to see if it would get any good."

      Bless you. This is the slashdot I know and love.

    • by arkhan_jg (618674)

      I've just finished reading the series myself (on a kobo, natch). I liked them. They're not going to win any awards for great literature, but they're significantly better written than Harry Potter or the first couple of chapters of the first twilight book (I couldn't stomach any more than that). I wouldn't even classify them as young adult; they're pretty violently brutal with quite a few analogies to our current day politics. It's only that the protagonists are teenagers that makes it 'young adult' really.

      O

      • by tinkerton (199273)

        ut they're significantly better written than Harry Potter

        I've read all the Harry Potters and I think from the third book on they're quite well written. The reasons people will say otherwise, in order of appearance, would be
        1. empty posturing
        2. they've only read the first book
        3. more sincere posturing - based on attitudes of what serious literature should be and disdain of the rest

  • by Zadaz (950521) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @12:00AM (#39393531)

    If there was any doubt that The Hunger Games are young adult novels, just read through the list.

    I'd weep for the youth of today but I was a youth of yesterday and I was a giant idiot too. I mostly grew out of it. They will too. It's how it works.

  • by dargaud (518470)
    I expected some kind of great quips, something similar to all the great Heinlein quotes that come out of his books. Although I don't like his writing style, dialogues and ideas particularly, his quotes are great. But those ?!? it can't get any lamer than this I guess: "I just want to spend every possible minute of the rest of my life with you". Or this "I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now, and live in it forever". "At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever
  • I really wouldn't expect the things that happen to be equipped to deal with people.
  • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:07AM (#39394121)

    This article came at a fitting time as I had recently picked up the bad habit of writing. It's a peculiar problem I have; it sneaks up from time to time, usually as the result of a new gadget which had the misfortune of including a keyboard. The impulse afflicts me for a few days or weeks until I finally convince myself, in no uncertain terms, that I am really a irredeemably terrible writer and should, in a just universe, have long ago been issued a restraining order against the whole of the English language. As this is, alas, an entirely unjust universe, over the years I have left a terrifying path of half-finished video game plots, reimagined TV shows and fan-fics in my wake.

    But I digress. When I stumbled upon this article I thought that it would be my rescue, as my recent purchase of a Bluetooth keyboard for my smartphone had me again fancying myself an auteur while the tiny rational part of by brain helplessly fought the controls. While I had never read any of Suzanne Collins work, surely anyone capable of penning a third of Amazon's top quotes must have a rapier wit and a stunning insight into the human condition. It would be a delightful chance to reaffirm my own incompetence and move on with my life. And I'd even get a new collection of bon mots to use at the water cooler. What could possibly go wrong? [tvtropes.org]

    Oops, I'm starting to digress again and souls don't crush themselves, after all! Bring on the quotes!

    Because sometimes things happen to people and they’re not equipped to deal with them.

    Ah, well, that's...very true. Very applicable to lots of...things.

    It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.

    That's true, too! I've heard the same message plenty of times before, but that doesn't make it less insightful.

    “I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now, and live in it forever,” he says.

    Okay, maybe a bit trite, but still a nice sentiment.

    “I just want to spend every possible minute of the rest of my life with you,” Peeta replies.

    Ah...um, okay, now my secret My Little Pony fan-fic is starting to look good. Uh...moving on...

    We’re fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction.

    ...Dear...

    “Having an eye for beauty isn’t the same thing as a weakness,” Peeta points out. “Except possibly when it comes to you.”

    ...God...

    Life in District 12 isn’t really so different from life in the arena. At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead.

    ...this...

    The berries. I realize the answer to who I am lies in that handful of poisonous fruit. If I held them out to save Peeta because I knew I would be shunned if I came back without him, then I am despicable. If I held them out because I loved him, I am still self-centered, although forgivable. But if I held them out to defy the Capitol, I am someone of worth. The trouble is, I don’t know exactly what was going on inside me at that moment.

    ...is...

    I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun.

    ...all...

    “District Twelve. Where you can starve to death in safety,”

    ...complete...

    That what I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can

It's a poor workman who blames his tools.

Working...