November 6, 2014

Top words in top selling books

Last year I wrote an article showing the Opening paragraph of top selling books. A while ago I read an article that talked about the top words in top selling books. I've lost that article so I decided to use my data mining skills and make a similar research on my own. The books I've included are a few of the top selling books from the last article:
  • A tale of two cities
  • And then there were none
  • The Hobbit
But since all of the top selling books are not available in the correct format needed to analyze the words, I've also included:

This is the result:

Alice Two cities Hobbit And then Bible Engineer
the the the the the the
and and and a and to
to of of of of a
a to to to to and
she a a and that of
of in he he in in
it his in was he was
said it was said shall he
it that they I unto Elon
in I it it for that

But, as you can see, most of the words in the results above are so-called stop words, so I've also tried to see what happens if these words are removed. This is the result:

Alice Two cities Hobbit And then Bible Engineer
said said said said shall elon
alice mr bilbo lombard unto said
little lorry dwarves blore lord car
know man came vera thou tesla
like defarge like armstrong thy like
went little long rogers god company
thought time thorin mr said electric
queen hand time know ye rocket
time miss great went thee space
did know did little man didnt

If I recall that old article I read on the top words in top selling books, I think the words were "and" and maybe "but." Anyway, it was interesting to see that the words in my own book matched almost all of the words in the other top selling books. But I think we will need more books to come up with any real conclusions.

Bonus!
As a bonus, I've also calculated the average words per sentence in each book. This is the result:
  • Alice: 27
  • Two cities: 18
  • Hobbit: 20
  • And then: 9
  • Bible: 28
  • Engineer: 20
...and average length per word:
  • Alice: 4.09
  • Two cities: 4.33
  • Hobbit: 4.17
  • And then: 4.21
  • Bible: 3.94
  • Engineer: 4.46

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