WOMEN READ MORE THAN MEN
Look around. If you’re in a book club, how many men join you monthly (or more often)? There is not a man in sight in my book club. I’d appreciate the different point of view but, alas, men don’t seem to want to join up.
And that’s not a personal observation: it’s a fact.
Surveys consistently find that women read more books than men, especially fiction. Explanations abound, from the biological differences between the male and female brains, to the way that boys and girls are introduced to reading at a young age.
I’ll use my husband as Exhibit A. He’s smart, informed and likes to read. Magazines—particularly the New Yorker. Right now, I’d say there are at least ten New Yorkers on the bench at the end of our bed, another five in the bathroom magazine rack, and two or three on the floor.
I gave him a copy of Oliver Sacks’s autobiography On The Move for his birthday in September, 2015. He loves Oliver Sacks. Or so he says. And he made a valiant effort to finish the book, even taking it on our winter vacation. I know he didn’t finish the book; in fact, I’m not sure he read a page. But he did finish a backpack full of New Yorkers and still came home with several issues—some of them dating back to 2013.
I don’t know if it’s his erratic attention span that makes it easier to read magazine articles versus books. Hard to know. But while I devour one delicious book after another, he reads his magazines. Now, he’s quick to tell everyone that I’m an avid reader. I try to keep my mouth shut. I guess I don’t want friends to know that my husband hasn’t finished a book in a long, long time.
The AP surveyed avid readers (of which my husband is not a member) and found that the gap between men and women readers is widest when it comes to fiction. Men make up a mere 20 percent of the fiction market! Women crush men except for history and biography.
(I’m in deep trouble. I don’t write fiction nor do I write biography or history. Well, I guess Thanks For The Memories: Love, Sex and World War II would be shelved under History, but that may be a stretch.)
So, where are all the female readers? How does an author find them? And once they’re found, how does she reach them? Seems like book clubs, blogs for women, PTA meetings, meet ups for professional women, and issue oriented organizations focusing on the subject of the book are good places to start.
Have any suggestions? I’m all ears!