May. 27th, 2004

There is a minor discussion on the IWG Bodice of Books forum talking about Stephen King's Dark Tower series and how more men than women appear to be reading them. So it got me to wondering....

When it comes to books, do you fall along gender lines? The claim is that women tend to read more fantasy, romance, "literary" fiction, non-fiction "self-help" books, diet books, and entertainment biographies. Men, they say, tend to read horror, science fiction, spy/action fiction, and non-fiction books about money and fitness (not diet but fitness), and historical biographies.

What genres do you read? Why do you read them? What genres don't you read? Why do you avoid those genres?

Since I started it, here are my responses:

What genres: horror (lots of horror fiction), dark fantasy (Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury), "literary fiction," classics, popular non-fiction (examples in that category would be _Under the Banner of Heaven_, _Fast Food Nation_, _Cook Off_ and the like), and food writing. I also read lots of folklore and mythology.

Why: Simply put, I read what I enjoy. I love the dark elements of horror (I don't read a lot of splatterpunk or gore for the sake of gore) and the character studies. Literary fiction appeals to the classicist in me and I like to know where literature came from in order to see where it is going. Non-fiction books draw me with their subject matter. I love food, so food writing is always fun. Folklore and mythology get my mind going -- you can learn alot about cultures based on the stories they tell.

What genres I don't read: romance, fantasy (with the notable exceptions of Tolkien, Rowling, Pullman, and Lewis), diet books or self-help. I also tend not to read biographies.

Why not: Romances and most fantasy books are a little too unreal for me (this from someone who enjoys books on ghosts and vampires!) and they rarely hold my attention. I don't read diet books because I believe in nutrition and moderation and because I am genetically lucky enough not to really need them. Self-help books always seem like either psychobabble or common sense to me, so they don't interest me. I don't read financial books; I have talented professionals that I pay to help me with money matters. I don't read biographies unless I GREATLY admire the subject (most of those tend to be literary biographies).

I am very curious to see what people think and what people read. Thanks!
...but I like the answer I got! LOL
You are Melisande. Beautiful, compelling, devious
and utterly wicked, you entrance your prey
before you lead them to their deaths. You are
self serving, brilliant, diabolical and just
warm hearted enough to keep your foes off

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