Joining the one percent, of sorts

It’s official. Sort of. Earlier this week I got an email from Goodreads this week announcing: “You’re in the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads!” (Their emphasis, not mine.) But digging around a bit makes me feel I’m still pretty much with my friends in the 99 percent.

First, the email also tells me that Goodreads has more than 20 million members. At one percent, I’m in the top 200,000. But then not every member writes book reviews. Still, though, the email says the site has more than 25 million reviews. Let’s see. I’ve posted 241 reviews, meaning I’ve written .00000964 percent (9.6 millionths in English) of the reviews. Compare that to the top 10 reviewers of all time in the U.S. alone. You have to have written more than 3,000 reviews to crack the top 10 and more than 1,300 to make it into the top 100.

The person with the most all time reviews in the U.S. supposedly has reviewed more than 7,500 books. She’s outpaced only by a Canadian gentleman who’s written nearly 10,000 reviews — all of them this year. That’s just shy of 50 reviews a day. I doubt I’ve read 10,000 books in my life. He is 73 so maybe there’s an outside shot I can catch up.

The statistics are less surprsing and that I am in the one percent is more surprising when you consider a review only need be 50 characters (that’s right, characters, not words). I think that’s why one American supposedly wrote more than 2,100 reviews already this year, another has written 576 this month while, as of the date I write this, a third has written 210 reviews this week.

So at least as far as Goodreads is concerned, the one percent isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.


All my life, I’ve always wanted to be somebody. But I see now I should have been more specific.

Jane Wagner, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe

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