I’ve been thinking a lot about the recent stories on how women make up 80% of the fiction market. I find that number odd. I got my love of reading from my parents – my father is a big W.E.B. Griffin fan and he introduced me to such writers as Rex Stout and Ed McBain. He reads daily and his bookshelves are filled with westerns, spy novels, books with military and police themes. I spent an evening recently talking with a co-worker about his taste in fiction (Griffin, spy novels, military novels). In just the past two weeks, I’ve loaned out my copies of The White Mary and First Daughter to other male coworkers. I travel a lot on business and the businessmen I see at airports are frequently reading. Yes, some are reading non-fiction (I read non-fiction, too), but they are also reading novels. I have a number of male friends who are connoiseurs of science fiction and fantasy, as well as more mainstream fiction. So I have to wonder where that number comes from and who conducted these surveys. I suppose it’s possible that I am personally acquainted with all the male fiction readers in North America, but it seems unlikely.
My question to all of you: What about the men in your life? Do they read? And if they do, what do they read?