160 billion words read in one year via Scribd’s ebook subscription service

Scribd

Image credit: Scribd

The book subscription service Scribd recently released some brief stats about its service usage as it nears its one year anniversary. While the results are limited to Scribd’s service alone, it captures a snapshot of reading behavior and choices of its readers over the past year. Romance, Mind, Body, & Spirit, and Business were the top book genres begun by readers; the top finished genres were Romance, Fiction, and Kids & YA. The top book was Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, and the most highlighted sentence was from that work as well.

For us, the most interesting aspect of this report is the infographic. It’s a nice example of using data effectively to talk about usage and services—and even staffing—without simply rattling off large numbers. For example, all the books in Scribd’s Library stacked up would surpass the top of Mt. Everest—a bit more powerful way to talk about a collection than quoting an overall number of books. This basic idea is behind our own Quotable Facts: making data and numbers more approachable for anyone.

Looking to use numbers to tell an impactful story about your library? Want to turn your annual report into an effective marketing tool? Join us at our CAL session next month, If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It! Tell Your Library’s Story with a Data-Based Elevator Speech, on Friday, October 17 from 3-4:45pm. At this interactive and discussion-rich session, you’ll get the inside scoop on how to talk up your library’s numbers to potential stakeholders, use stats and stories to show value, and develop a powerful elevator speech.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

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