Bloggers and their Books

Author-blogger Matt Yglesias passes on this Venn diagram from Gawker which was in turn produced by Mark Raynar.

Bloggers and their Books

Considering that Raynar made the diagram as a joke, apparently off the top of his head, I wouldn’t take this too seriously. Certainly, the indicators are pretty good that most blog readers are also book readers.

I suspect that the joke is based on a kernel of truth: Most people who read blogs are unlikely to go out and buy books written by the authors of said blogs. This is especially true, I suspect, for bloggers like Matt who regularly provide long-form essays. I’ll eventually read his book[*], Heads in the Sand, and imagine it’ll be well written but don’t expect to glean any amazing insights from it precisely because I’ve read Matt’s various blogs with some regularity over the past half decade. Conversely, books like Glenn Reynolds’ Army of Davids are more likely to provide new information to readers because InstaPundit is mostly a link blog with generally sparse commentary.

My guess would be that the vast majority of people who buy any of these books — especially those which sell relatively well — are people who are not regular readers of the authors’ blogs.

*Sooner rather than later, it turns out, since a free copy just arrived on my doorstep. Then again, since the graphic was about those who buy the books, this may well skew the made-up data slightly further.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. William d'Inger says:

    I’m on the right periphery of the darker blue area in the diagram. Other than technical manuals at work, I haven’t read a book since Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour. Buying a PC changed my lifestyle in ways I could never have dreamed.

  2. DC Loser says:

    I read books, but I’m too cheap to pay for them. I get them from the excellent public library. My tax dollars at work.

  3. DL says:

    How long before someone asks in all seriousness to this type of question -what’s a book?

  4. Brian J. says:

    I am so much in the minority.

    I own the Jump the Shark book, two Slate books, a Darwin Awards book, The F–ed Company book….

  5. Dave Schuler says:

    I think it’s the opposite. I think practically everybody who buys a book written by a blogger probably has read the that blogger’s blog. Why else buy the book?