Top 10 Most Read Books in the World
Out of all the infographics we featured this year, one literary graphic was by far the most popular (and controversial) among our readers.
Jason Boog (Media Bistro)
Notes that Fanning retrieved the information from a writer named James Chapman, who grounded his findings in the number of copies each sold over the last 50 years.
Interested? Click the title to read on.
Source is GodHimself.com I believe because the Bible is so obviously in first place (joking).
Darin's strange encounter with an infographic: The title of the infographic intrigued me immediately, as the 10 most read books in the world seems so significant and definitive. I wanted to know what the elite titles would be.
On the site where I orignally found the source (unimportant), the left side of the picture was cut off, and then I just had to find out what the top two books were. What an exciting mystery, and one that I could not leave hanging.
Fortunately, the author had the links at the bottom of the story which was two sentences long or so. I began following links that took me far and wide across the web. The first link actually had the top two books, so I could have stopped.
However, I was suspicious of the whole project by this point. The infographic is in a billion places on the web, but nowhere could I find any story about how the data was compiled.
Finally, at MediaBistro.com, which is fairly reputable, I found a tidbit. They pinned the information on Mr. Chapman, citing the following quote from him via Reddit:
I have compiled this list of the 10 Most Read Books In The World after completing a long project of research to establish exactly which are the most read books in the world … You will find in this list a varied array of subject matter, covering a considerable number of years of some truly talented author’s work. Some of the authors are no longer with us, but the majority are still producing their masterpieces for our ongoing delight.
So why do I recount this tale of frustration? Because the infographic is incidiously planted all over the internet as if it were the Bible. Seriously, Google the exact title of it above and click on images. I'll wait while you do ....
.... Can you believe it? I present it to you an example of some of the stupid information people believe because it's crafted in a nice infographic. I truly hope the new Google algorithms, when they are released, will correct this nonsense or that people will think more critically, myself included. Questions that remain:
- What is meant by "world?" For example, are we talking about all languages?
- Who is Mr. Chapman?
- When did he accomplish this feat?
- What was the nature of his research?
- What sources did he use?
- What data did he find?
- Does Mr. Chapman, the research, sources, and data even exist?
Perhaps with further research, I could answer some of these, but my point is why bother? We are easily deceived by nice colors and graphics, and the content becomes unimportant.
You might enjoy another encounter I had with crazy, journalistic crap: Blogging impacts journalism or How to fail in social media exploration: Experiencing Fark.
Or, some more solid pieces:
- Best blog title tips: What SEO and 10,000 plus student essays reveal
- Power verbs dazzle search engines and empower SEO
- Science Fiction is Eternal: Ray Bradbury Transcending Space and Time
- Five quick tips to write with power
Before you go, let me know what you think about this. Am I obsessing again?