War Books Spike in Popularity in May - War with Iraq and Trojan War Drive Resurgence in Interest in Wars Past

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Online readership in May focused on ebooks on war. Current war with Iraq and recent Brad Pitt film, Troy, likely causes for war book popularity.

The current war with Iraq and the recent film release, Troy, has caused a resurgence in interest in wars past such as World War I, World War II, the Persian Gulf War, and the fabled Trojan war. eBooks on war were most widely read on Questia, the world’s largest online library of books, in the month of May. Six out of the top 20 best read ebooks were books related to wars past. Another three books on war made the top 35 best read ebooks list. Readers on the Questia online library of more than 49,000 books and 390,000 articles are primarily students using the Questia service for research paper topics. As demonstrated by the May Top 20 Best Read eBooks list, the current war with Iraq has had a strong influence on the research paper topics selected during the end of the spring academic semester. To see the full list of best read ebooks for May, please visit http://www.top20ebooks.com.

An Encyclopedia of War and Ethics, a 539-page book on subjects related to war was the number one best read ebook in May. Entries within An Encyclopedia of War and Ethics discuss efforts to judge and to justify war and each entry has a bibliography with suggested further reading. Nuclear war, casualties of war, and human nature and war are just a few of the numerous war-related entries within the encyclopedia. The other popular books on war pertained to World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War and war-related subjects such as torture. Interestingly, the fourth most popular ebook in May, a book on a war fought during ancient times, was the Iliad, Homer’s epic poem on the war against Troy. The recent release of the film, Troy, starring Brad Pitt, is likely to be the main driver of interest in this war-torn story.

Questia users can perform their own search of the more than 49,000 books and 390,000 articles or they can access over 5,000 research paper topics on the Questia website. Each of the 5,000 research paper topics includes premier books and articles on a given topic with content hand-selected by academic librarians. Research paper topics on war such as World War I, World War II, and Persian Gulf War are popular war-related subjects and are easily accessible through an alphabetized listing of the research paper topics or through the Questia search feature.

To develop the Top 20 Best Read eBooks, the reading patterns of Questia users are aggregated and then ranked, with ranking based primarily on page views (each time one user looks at a page results in one "page view") and the overall number of unique users who accessed that title. Secondarily, book length is factored in to correct for the fact that shorter books, even if read in their entirety, would have fewer page views. The May 2004 list and past lists can be accessed at http://www.top20ebooks.com. The June 2004 list will be available online in early July.

The Questia service is a personal online library for its subscribers, offering unlimited, simultaneous access to complete titles regardless of how many other users are reading the same book, magazine, newspaper or journal article. Research tools help students and researchers organize, highlight, cite, and store their work on personalized bookshelves in the Questia library. A list of 5,000 research paper topics is included in the Questia library. Subscription fees range from $19.95 per month to $119.95 per year.

Top 20 Best Read eBooks

May 2004

1.    An Encyclopedia of War and Ethics, edited by Donald A. Wells. Greenwood Press, 1996.

2.    The Cultures of Globalization, edited by Stanley Fish and Fredric Jameson. Duke University Press, 1998.

3.    The End of Apartheid in South Africa, by Lindsay Michie Eades and edited by Randall M. Miller. Greenwood Press, 1999.

4.    Iliad, by Homer and edited by Stanley Lombardo. Hackett Publishing Company, 1997.

5.    Our Mothers, Our Selves: Writers and Poets Celebrating Motherhood, by edited by J. B. Bernstein and Karen J. Donnelly. Bergin & Garvey Trade, 1996.

6.    Little Woman: Or Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, by Louisa M. Alcott and Jessie Wilcox Smith. Little, Brown, 1915.

7.    Writing with Power, by Peter Elbow. Oxford University Press, 1998.

8.    Domestic Violence: Facts and Fallacies, by Richard L. Davis. Praeger, 1998.

9.    Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction, by Damien Keown. Oxford University Press, 1996.

10.    A Time for War: The United States and Vietnam, 1941-1975, by Robert D. Schulzinger. Oxford University Press, 1997.

11.    Causes and Consequences of World War II, by Robert A. Divine. Quadrangle Books, 1969.

12.    The History of South Africa, by Roger B. Beck. Greenwood Press, 2000.

13.    Leadership for the Twenty-First Century, by Joseph C. Rost. Praeger, 1993.

14.    Racism: A Short History, by George M. Frederickson. Princeton University Press, 2002.

15.    The World of the Autistic Child: Understanding and Treating Autistic Spectrum Disorders, by Bryna Siegel. Oxford University Press, 1998.

16.    Culture and Customs of Japan, by Noriko Kamachi and edited by Hanchao Lu. Greenwood Press, 1999.

17.    Punishment and the Death Penalty: The Current Debate, edited by Robert M. Baird and Stuart E. Rosenbaum. Prometheus Books, 1995.

18.    A World in Flames: A Short History of the Second World War in Europe and Asia, 1939-1945, by Martin Kitchen. Longman, 1990.

19.    Bleep! Censoring Rock and Rap Music, edited by Sandra Dauidson and Betty Houchin Winfield. Greenwood Press, 1999.

20.    The Day the War Began, by Archie Satterfield. Praeger Publishers, 1992.

Rankings reflect total page views and unique users on the Questia service for May 1 through May 31, 2004, statistically weighted to factor in book length.

About Questia

Founded in 1998, Questia Media, Inc., launched its revolutionary online library in January 2001, with powerful search and writing tools created specifically to help students do better research and write better papers. Questia provides unlimited access to the full content of an extensive collection of books and journal articles, as well as a wide range of tools, including highlighter, markup, automatic footnotes and bibliography builder. For millions of students and researchers, the Questia SM service enables them to efficiently research and compose papers at any time, from virtually every connected corner of the world. Based in Houston, Questia is delivering on the true promise of the Internet by providing access to a wealth of human knowledge.

Visit http://www.questia.com for more information.

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Helen Wilson
QUESTIA
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