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Old 8th Aug 2005, 13:53   #1
Lucoid
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Default Men reading books by women - shock!

We've touched on this kind of thing in at least one other thread but after a couple of minutes' guesswork I've failed to find it, so I thought I'd just post this here. The following story was on the front page of a local newspaper. Either it was a slow news week or this really is a groundbreaking story to the folks of the Fens.

Quote:
Women authors write on with men

Fenland men revealed their feminine side in an investigation into preferences of the county's male bookworms.
Cambridgeshire Library Service carried out the novel survey to see if men deliberately avoided books written by women.
But out of a total of 681 men, only 146 said they preferred to read books written by men.
Fifteen men admitted they preferred books written by women, 435 had no preference, and 77 never noticed the author's gender.
Ruth Rendell topped a list of 20 women authors, followed closely by Enid Blyton and Jane Austen.
Other favourites included Patricia Cornwell, Agatha Christie, JK Rowling, and Catherine Cookson.
Sylvia Voaden, senior librarian for Cambridgeshire County Council said: 'Although the survey was a bit of fun it did help highlight women writers, and help us understand better what people are reading.'
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Old 8th Aug 2005, 13:59   #2
John Self
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I think they've missed a trick by asking people what their preferences are, rather than checking what they've borrowed. I would expect a much higher proportion of men to be reading only, or largely, books by men than the figures in the survey. Everyone wants to feel their tastes are wide-ranging, right? Yet I admit I predominantly read books by men. Why is another matter.

It might be interesting to look through the Palimplists and do some calculations. We know that only one Palimper has a conscious policy of never reading books by women - our esteemed webmaster, Wavid!
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Old 8th Aug 2005, 14:26   #3
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I couldn't resist following through with my idea above. If I've got anyone's sex wrong, er ... sorry! I'll list how big a percentage of each person's books is by authors of their own sex.

Wavid (m): 100% male (18 out of 18 )

amner (m): 100% male (19 out of 19)

gil (m): 93% male (26 out of 28 )

Colyngbourne (f): 47% female (36 out of 76) - er, Jan Mark is male, right?

John Self (m): 88% male (69 out of 78 )

Digger (f): 8% female (1 out of 12)

HoneyPotts (f): 20% female (6 out of 30)

Jerkass (m): 90% male (28 out of 31)

rick green (m): 76% male (26 out of 34)

hazelweller (f): 59% female (20 out of 34 ... presuming Lindsay Davies is female)

Lucoid (f): 26% female (5 out of 19)

kumquat (f): 32% female (11 out of 34 ... or 12, if Taichi Yamada is female)

m. (f): 24% female (8 out of 33)

Maggie (f): 20% female (1 out of 5 ... update your list, madam!)

ono no komachi (f): 6% female (1 out of 16)

bakunin_the_cat (m): 92% male (23 out of 25)

Oryx (f): 26% female (5 out of 19)

chillicheese (m): 93% male (13 out of 14)

jim (m): 100% male (17 out of 17)

funes (f): 20% female (4 out of 20)

maxivida (f): 21% female (3 out of 14)

So with the exception of Col and hazel, we're all typical men!
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Old 8th Aug 2005, 14:30   #4
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Jan Mark is female.



The balance in my list only really comes from reading children's books (not that that is a bad thing :wink:). I think male children's authors (of teenage books) are thinner on the ground and less prolific. I've been waiting five years for the Aidan Chambers September finale to his Dance sextet.
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Old 8th Aug 2005, 14:37   #5
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Ooer, I always thought it was a Swedish-type male Jan. That tips yours over 50% I reckon, Col. (Counts on fingers) - Yep, 51% - 39 out of 76 by women. A perfect balanced sample!
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Old 8th Aug 2005, 15:06   #6
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Lindsay Davies is indeed female.
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Old 8th Aug 2005, 15:42   #7
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Hate to say it, but I am definitely biased against women authors for reasons I'll go into later, if necessary. Though mainly because the only really super-dooper books I've read by female writers were The Poisonwood Bible which was extraordinary and wonderful and exceptionally well written; and Behind The Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson which was quirky, sparky and fun - as I remember (it was a long while ago).

And taking my list, you can almost discount Sylvia Plath because Ariel is simply a collection of her poems, not her fiction. Diana Wynne Jones was Col's choice for me, so not an author I elected to read. And Sarah Waters and Anita Diamant were both a reading group's choices (the Waters surprisingly good, but not that good!; the Diamant dire beyond dire). So strictly speaking, this year, which is pretty typical, I've only elected to read three female authors: Flannery O'Connor (Wise Blood - a strange hypnotic brew - southern gothic at its violent, hillbilly best); Barbara Kingsolver whom I've already mentioned. And Plath - but only for her poetry.

Add: whoops. Just realised even the Kingsolver was a reading group decision. A very fortunate one, it must be said. So only 2 female authors by choice then out of 30; just under 7%
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Old 8th Aug 2005, 16:33   #8
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Sorry - mistake somewhere - 9 of 33.
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Old 8th Aug 2005, 16:34   #9
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Quote:
Hate to say it, but I am definitely biased against women authors for reasons I'll go into later, if necessary.
Definitely necessary. Why so, HP?
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Old 8th Aug 2005, 16:35   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.
Sorry - mistake somewhere - 9 of 33
Ah yes - one of those Polish names, I expect. Sorry.
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