A data driven approach to picking your next book

3년 전

The summer is in the air and if you are not currently reading a book, maybe you will get a good opportunity over the next weeks. I, myself, just finished a great book that I can recommend you.

But of course it is difficult to recommend you anything without knowing you better. Are you used to read long and complex books or is it difficult to concentrate on 280 characters on twitter? Wherever you are are reading-wise, I found a funny little approach taking into account three factors:
Pages, ratings by other readers and Lexile score. The two first are probably self explaining while the latter measure the “difficulty level” of books by looking at how long words and sentences are. While the Lexile measurement is not perfect, it does provide some guidance for the reading level.

I found the data for 36 classics and plotted them:
image.png

The blue boxes indicates the ratings and bigger boxes are better. It is the relative score and all of the books had pretty good ratings so even a "poor classic" is probably still a pretty good book. If you haven't read anything for a while you could probably start in the lower left and vice versa if you want a challenge.

Interestingly, Night by Elie Wiesel seems to be both the easiest of all of these classics and also the one that is highest rated. So this data driven approach would recommend you to start right there!

If you have read any of the books that can also give you a feel for the ones nearest. I have for instance read 1984 and enjoyed it so One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest should probably be an easy challenge while A Clockwork Orange would take more of me.

You can find lexile scores here and readers ratings here if you should be interested in this approach for other books.

I hope it was interesting to read for you and maybe'll help you find your next book. If you have any comments or questions, I will be happy to hear them.

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That's a great initiative, but I can't see that this kind of metric would be helpful with anything as personal as reading. I know this is supposed to be funny, but, personally, I don't care how long a book is or how 'difficult' it is to read. So those metrics are irrelevant--for me, anyway. However, this was sufficiently interesting for me to click through to the link. What I think is really interesting, though, is that you took the time too look at reading preference analytically. Very original. I'd like to see what you come up with next :)

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I am not claiming that it is a good metric for everyone and surely 3 variables can not capture most of the magic of a good book. None the less, I think it is an OK metric for those that are less used to read (i.e. pick something short and easy). Thanks for your feedback and I will be happy to share my future thoughts with you :)

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I love your approach. I also get involved in research to an extent that seems extreme to some. But I don't have your analytic tools.

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If you have some specific ideas or data about stuff you would like to compare, feel free to hit me up :)

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That sounds wonderful. So many times I research a piece and leave a great deal in the dust because no one wants to know that much :) Perhaps I will torment you with some of that data and you can do interesting things with it.

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