Monday, March 23, 2009

No Kidding, Sherlock

I doubt that many would dispute the premise that, as a group, women have a higher percentage of avid readers than men. Just take a look at the blog rolls on any of the lit blogs you read and that fact will become pretty obvious. Male lit bloggers must be outnumbered at least 10 to 1.

But for the few doubters who might still be out there, here is a London survey that makes the point in a number of different ways (as recapped in The Hindu):

Twice as many men as women admitted that they never finish a book.

Forty-eight per cent of women can be considered to be page turners, or avid readers, compared with only 26 per cent of men.

Slow Worms are those who spend a long time reading, but who take their books very seriously and finish them. They can often manage only one or two books a year. This group was made up by 32 per cent of male respondents and 18 per cent women.

Serial Shelvers have shelves full of books that have never been opened and are not likely to be -- 17 per cent of women and 20 per cent of men fall into this category.
Call me crazy, but I firmly believe that this split starts in the earliest school years and gets wider and wider all the way through university. Elementary school teachers and the parents of boys desperately need to work together to, at the least, begin to narrow this gender gap.
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