It’s Not About Who’s Reading More
We already have an understanding — sad to say — that in general, men are not reading as much as women.
Today at The FutureBook, in fact, the author Simon Scarrow talks about his new Cato and Macro mobile game-app for iOS and Android that’s intended to help draw younger male readers into the line of his Roman legionnaires’ arrow fire. Or at least into sizzling proximity of that “explosion of pure bacon,” a catapulted flaming pig.
One of the hardest things to understand is how the publishing establishment continues to leave so much money on the table.
You’d think a business that needs nothing so much as a larger audience would notice that roughly half the population wasn’t holding up its end and, um, go after those wallets.
Maybe in 2015, we’ll see publishing take a more serious look at what’s making guys lag on this. After all, video, gaming, television, film — the major entertainment media are hammering away at women as well as men. And a book looks just as good on a tablet or phone as Angry Birds does.
So we’ll work on that.
For now, have a look at some of the interesting stats that Goodreads co-founder and editor-in-chief Elizabeth Khuri Chandler has put together in a fine infographic.
Chandler and her associates chose 20,000 men and 20,000 women, having determined that overall, people on the huge reading-and-reviewing platform are giving books just about four stars on average, 3.94 to be precise.
The overall universe of Goodreaders now, by the way, comprises more than 30 million members. This means that the Goodreads population is roughly that of Peru, Venezuela, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, or Malaysia.
That’s a lot of folks, and they have brought 900 million books to the party over the years — with 34 million reviews so far.
Now as for those male-female numbers, Goodreads’ samples of the two genders showed women reading twice as many books in 2014 as men.
Like I said, we’ll work on that.
One interesting note — men were twice as likely to write a 500+ page book in 2014 as women. That may be good news unless you have to read one of those 500+ page books.
Men, Chandler found, tended to be slightly tougher reviewers, their ratings averaging 3.7 to the women’s average 3.85 ratings.
A book by a man found its audience to be about fifty-fifty men and women. A book written by a woman, these stats tell us, had an audience of 80-percent women and just 20-percent men. Put another way: in this 40,000-person sample, more women read books by men than men read books by women.
The two genders, however, were perfectly on a par, in how faithfully — or stubbornly! — they clung to work by their own in the Top-50 books they read in 2014:
- Of the 50 books published in 2014 and most read by Goodreads men surveyed, 45 of them were written by men.
- Of the 50 books published in 2014 and most read by Goodreads women surveyed, 45 of them were written by women.
More cool bits of info are here for you. Look it over.
And when you see something you don’t like, like getting more guys to read? — we’ll work on that.