We follow CoverSpy on Twitter, a group who describes themselves as “a team of publishing nerds who hit the subways, streets, parks & bars to find out what New Yorkers are reading now.”
Most people get their reading list through recommendations. Friends, family, or even Oprah, share what they’ve read and liked, which people automatically add to the list of “books to read.” CoverSpy takes this to the next level and tweets book titles with brief stats on readers, including gender, age, physical attributes, and what type of transportation they were spotted reading.
With e-books like the Kindle and the new iPad that’s coming out this Saturday, readers can no longer cover spy. E-books make that virtually impossible. CoverSpy’s tweets on Kindle books currently read, “Title Unknown, Author Unknown (F, 20s, mehndi on hands, fuchsia scarf, Q train).”
For people who still like knowing what others are reading, we imagine an application will be developed that addresses this problem. Perhaps an app that motivates readers to share books they’re reading in real time. Or maybe something similar to Amazon’s buyer behavior for readers, a list that shows who have read which books, and what other books they enjoy. Whatever the case, sharing is a huge component of social media, and books are one of America’s oldest forms of sharing.