Who Reads What?

Readers and Genres of Fiction in Goodreads

YA and Childrens Included

  • Visualizations from Mining Goodreads: Literary Reception Studies at Scale
  • Sponsors: Price Lab for Digital Humanities, Humanities and Human Flourishing Project, and Penn Libraries
  • Principal Investigator: James F. English
  • Principal Developers: Scott Enderle and Rahul Dhakecha

This version of our t-SNE projection is identical to the Genre-Mix visualization except that it includes the books that are most often shelved in Goodreads as Young Adult, Children’s, or Graphic Fiction (a category that is difficult to separate from kids’ picture books). Some reviewers of these books are young people, who fall outside the scope of our study; others are adults recommending books that their children have enjoyed -— i.e. reporting on the reading tastes of someone else, and thus potentially misleading with respect to their own preferences. Otherwise, the data are unchanged, and the t-SNE algorithm applied in the same way to project as simple two-dimensional Euclidean distances these 1672 readers’ multi-dimensional relationships of similarity and difference from one another. Each reader is represented as a point, color-coded to show the primary genre of their reading. The t-SNE outputs have been visualized with the Bokeh presentation tool. Points that are near to each other represent readers who like a similar genre-mix of books; points that are distant represent readers whose tastes diverge. Points that are near to differently colored points correspond to readers who are relatively eclectic or “omnivorous” in their consumption of fiction. Points surrounded exclusively by same-color points correspond to “univores,” readers who do not stray far from their one favored genre.

This page is maintained by The Price Lab for Digital Humanities and Penn Libraries Digital Scholarship