Sunday Book-Thought 141

I asked in the first sentence of this chapter what happens to the act of reading when your novel knows where you are standing while you read it. And so there is another kind of answer that comes into view: reading produces new kinds of traces. The Silent History produces entirely new data about readers’ behavior. We can watch the reader as she moves through the novel – it is possible for Horowitz and Quinn to know how far each reader has read in the story, for instances, and how fast they read it, and on what day; readers’ imaginative responses, in the form of those field reports, are gathered and selectively added to the novel itself; Horowitz and Quinn know when and how often field reports are accessed. If they wanted to they could determine exactly when a reader stopped reading and where they were in the novel.
Amy Hungerford, Making Literature Now (Stanford: Sanford University Press, 2016), p. 111.