20 October 2008

Musing Mondays

Here's today's Monday Musings (for the complete question, see Should Be Reading):

I recently read an article (here) that I found through BiblioAddict's blog that talked of "why women read more than men." In it, author Ian McEwan is quoted as saying: "When women stop reading, the novel will be dead." Do you believe this to be true? Why or why not?

No, not true at all. Most of the men I know read novels. I've discovered many good novels of all genres through recommendations from men.

The article goes on to say:

One thing is certain: Americans--for either gender--are reading fewer books today than in the past.

That may be true, but the growth of audiobooks has increased. I wonder what the numbers are when audiobooks and ebooks are counted.

And then there is this:
Among avid readers surveyed by the AP, the typical woman read nine books in a year, compared with only five for men.
As others doing this musing said, I would hardly call the people surveyed avid readers. I, too, wonder about the survey population and who defined the word avid.

The article goes on to discuss theories of why women read more fiction than men. I really don't believe that men are less emotionally capable of engaging with fiction than are women.

I'd be curious to see the gender breakdown for authors of fiction. If men are so incapable of relating to fiction, why are there so many male authors?


bermudaonion 10/20/08, 9:39 AM  

I know more women readers than men readers, but there sure are a lot of male authors.

Sunny 10/20/08, 10:17 AM  

Good point about the audiobooks! And you're right...who are they calling "avid" readers?

Lisa 10/20/08, 11:44 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa 10/20/08, 11:47 AM  

Oops - I totally screwed that comment up! lol

I was trying to say that I don't believe handing out free books in a park qualifies as a technical survey.

My Two Blessings 10/20/08, 12:29 PM  

"I'd be curious to see the gender breakdown for authors of fiction. If men are so incapable of relating to fiction, why are there so many male authors?"

Good point.

Robin of mytwoblessings

Holly 10/20/08, 1:08 PM  

I hadn't even thought of audiobooks. I know that with the crazy busy lives most people have anymore audiobooks are the only way for some people to get their "reading" done.

Bluestocking 10/20/08, 1:34 PM  

I know where they got that 9 book statistic.

Musing Monday

Oh I'm raffling off a copy of Brisingr this week. So visit the book review section.

Laza 10/20/08, 3:31 PM  

Good point about the abundance of male authors. I definitely don't agree with the portion of the article that claims men don't have the proper emotional capabilities to connect with novels. If anything, many have been trained by social factors to see reading as female endeavor. But as you point out, that doesn't make much sense either if you take into account the number men writers.

I'm just totally stumped by the article. We need a real survey!

Callista 10/20/08, 7:08 PM  

Thanks for visiting me. I didn't catch the fact that they used the term avid so thanks for bringing that to my attention. 9 books a year definitely isn't avid to me. Also I don't think men are less capable of reading fiction, just that they seem to do it less. Could be just the guys I know though.

Todd 10/21/08, 9:42 PM  

I grew up being taught the importance of reading to life, not just for information, but for story, the need for narrative. From the simplest joke in the Sunday comics to comic books to novels and narrative nonfiction. I didn't learn my love of reading in school. Actually, I rarely liked what I read in school, especially the way it was taught in public school, which often seemed to be some kind of information search, leaving out an actual interest in story. I love fiction and nonfiction equally. I love the story, the depth that story can take you into human experience.

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