Adolf Hitler's fascist manifesto Mein Kampf is finding a new audience through digital eReaders, racing towards the top of digital eBook charts as readers access the book in the more private, sleeveless form.
The trend was spotted by author Chris Faraone, with 99p and 99-cent digital versions of the book riding high on both the Amazon and iTunes charts on both sides of the Atlantic. In the UK, Mein Kampf tops the "Political Science and Ideology" chart, as well as the "Ideologies" chart and, somewhat unsurprisingly, the "Fascism and Nazism" chart. In addition, a number of free English-language versions have been downloaded in excess of 100,000 times from the non-profit Internet Archive.
"People might not have wanted to buy Mein Kampf at Borders or have it delivered to their home or displayed on their living room bookshelf, let alone get spotted reading it on a subway, but judging by hundreds of customer comments online, readers like that digital copies can be quietly perused then dropped into a folder or deleted," writes Faraone.
"Similar comments have been made about the erotic smash hit 50 Shades of Grey [but] compared to Mein Kampf, books about chains and leather seem pretty soft core."
It's an interesting, and potentially dangerous side effect of the digital reading revolution. While a bit of "mummy porn" is a harmless private indulgence, the distribution of hate-texts could be far more worrying. However, given the close eye the NSA and GCHQ keep on us these days, perhaps the reading of these digital texts isn't all that private afterall. [Vocativ via The Guardian]
Image Credit: BBC