About a month ago, Goodreads published an infographic (I’ve posted it below) showing that men and women read largely their own gender. Roughly 95% of our reading material will be of an author who possesses the same genitals that we do. Though it threw up some interesting statistics (specifically that women are more likely to read new fiction), I feel there is so much more that could have been addressed.
Specifically, we could have learnt a lot more if we took issues of genre into account. What is it about books written by each gender that appeals more to readers of that gender? When people read the opposite gender, are there particular genres we read? Is there a subject trend? Which genre(s) have the broadest appeal (my guess would be crime)? Which genre(s) has/have the largest disparity (I suspect it would be chic lit and war fiction)?
In the last couple of years I have read these female writers (leaving aside the collections and the self-published work):
Lindsey Davis, Historical crime: Yes, I am dragging my heals on Falco but that’s only because I know I have only about 8 books to go in the series 😦
Jutta Profijit, Crime: never heard of her? No, neither had I but Morgue Drawer 4 (I’m delighted to discover it’s an ongoing series) is one of the funniest books I have ever read.
Suzanne Collins, YA/sci fi: Seriously, if you don’t know who she is, what rock have you been living under?
Alice Roberts, science: Esteemed scientist is as good a writer as she is a TV presenter
J.K. Rowling, fantasy
Jane Austen, literature
Mary Shelley, sci fi / horror
If you don’t know who any of the above three are then there’s no hope for you.
What do you think, does this surprise you? Do you think the data tells us anything of value?