Category Archives: zeitgeist

literary zeitgest, google-style

At the Frankfurt Book Fair this week, Google revealed a small batch of data concerning use patterns on Google Book Search: a list of the ten most searched titles from September 17 to 23. Google already does this sort of snapshotting for general web search with its “zeigeist” feature, a weekly, monthly or annual list of the most popular, or gaining, search queries for a given period — presented as a screengrab of the collective consciousness, or a slice of what John Battelle calls “the database of intentions.” The top ten book list is a very odd assortment, a mix of long tail eclecticism and current events:
Diversity and Evolutionary Biology of Tropical Flowers By Peter K. Endress
Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Synonyms
Measuring and Controlling Interest Rate and Credit Risk By Frank J. Fabozzi, Steven V. Mann, Moorad Choudhry
Ultimate Healing: The Power of Compassion By Lama Zopa Rinpoche; Edited by Ailsa Cameron
The Holy Qur’an Translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali
Peterson’s Study Abroad 2006
Hegemony Or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance By Noam Chomsky
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage
Perrine ‘s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense By Thomas R Arp, Greg Johnson
Build Your Own All-Terrain Robot By Brad Graham, Kathy McGowan
(reported in Reuters and InfoWorld)