Caroline Carpenter reports in the Bookseller that 63% of men rarely read. I wanted to cheer when I saw the headline, because the man I live with finds reading a chore. He'll be delighted to hear he is not alone!
The Reading Agency commissioned the survey of 2,000 UK men and women which discovered - if surveys can be believed, of course - that men prefer to watch film instead. The reasons (excuses!) given were - too busy, did not enjoy reading, preferred doing the internet. One in five men admitted to pretending to have read a specific title in order to appear more intelligent. It also emerged that 30% have not picked up a book since their school days. Men read more slowly, read fewer books and are less likely to finish them than women. If all this is true, I am left wondering why so many literary critics are male. Why not more females writing up the reviews in the press since we do more reading?
World Book Night, where volunteers hand out thousands of free books to reluctant readers in their communities, is coming up on April 23rd. The focus this year is on men who aren’t reading enough.
The list of books was selected with young men in mind:-
Four Warned by Jeffrey Archer (Quick Read) (Macmillan)
A Perfect Murder by Peter James (Quick Read) (Macmillan)
Today Everything Changes by Andy McNab (Quick Read)(Transworld)
Short Stories by Roald Dahl (Michael Joseph)
CHERUB: The Recruit by Robert Muchamore (Hachette Children’s)
Theodore Boone by John Grisham (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Humans by Matt Haig (Canongate)
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne (Vintage)
Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith (Simon & Schuster)
Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin (Transworld)
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (Orion)
After the Funeral by Agatha Christie (HarperCollins)
Whatever it Takes by Adele Parks (Headline)
Geezer Girls by Dreda Say Mitchell (Hodder & Stoughton)
Black Hills by Nora Roberts (Little, Brown)
Getting Rid of Matthew by Jane Fallon (Michael Joseph)
The Boy With the Topknot by Sathnam Sanghera (Penguin General)
59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman (Macmillan)
Confessions of a GP by Dr Benjamin Daniels (The Friday Project).
Once again, women lose out. Next year, why not celebrate women who read?