About a decade ago, Ian McEwan, a British Author and his son conducted an unscientific experiment. They advertised and began handing out free books one day in the heart of London, UK. Within a few minutes, they had given away 30 novels to women! The women were excited, eager and thankful for the book while the men “frowned in suspicion, or distaste.” The conclusion, wrote McEwan in The Guardian newspaper: “When women stop reading, the novel will be dead.”
Excuse me, what’s that all about? I read, damn it and I would take a free book any day! But wait…maybe I wouldn’t especially if its a chick-lit book. No thanks. Ah ha! Maybe that’s the issue of us men! Are the novels available to the world geared more to women than to men?
I did an internal family poll beginning with my Mother. She mentioned my grandfather also read to her and my uncles. However, he stopped reading to the boys when they became of age. Why was that? Turns out, most of the books got to be too childish and feminine-like for the boys, my mother admitted. My grandfather wanted the boys to do learn to work with their hands and become REAL men, more than read nursery rhymes. Could this be the beginning of the inevitable less-men-reading-syndrome?
I next asked my father the same question. He later picked up reading but only to attain passing marks in school and to win my mother’s affections. Nice one Dad!
Could these be the reasons? Were we taught at a young age to be macho; manly man; not weaken our appearance before men and women? For what its worth, is this the same stubborn attitude why us guys refuse to read maps or to stop to ask for directions? Ok you’re right…let’s not go there with the latter…
I put the word out to get some answers: Why do men not read books as much as women? The following testimonies ensued:
“I’m tired of people saying Men Don’t Read. Men LOVE to read. I’ve been a reader my whole life. My father is a reader. Most of my male friends are readers. But the more publishing repeats the empty mantra that Men Don’t Read the less they’re going to try to appeal to men, which is where this vicious cycle begins. Publish more books for men and boys” ~ JASON PINTER is the bestselling author of five thriller novels
“I think Men have more options in today’s society with 21st century technology. It seems some men are more content to read a newspaper than invest time in a book….Otherwise they will abandon it in an instant….now that there are “mash up” books like Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and Emma and the Vampires which introduces people to classic literature with a modern twist to it. These books have inspired more people namely boys and men to read more Jane Austen as a result”~ DB of MVBC
“I think men stopped reading because women started to dominate the market. The women were suppressed for so long that when it because available for them to write–they wrote with women in mind…Less and less, there wasn’t a market for books geared for male interests. The introduction of the television also saved men from having to read a book. A lot of guys still read books but not a lot women are men write with them in mind”.~JV of MVBC
“Allow me to be frank. I admit women are far more willing to spend their time, effort and money on something that can make them feel good and not too much fuss when enjoying it, and, for some, reading is giving them such effect. While men are more into taking actions, doing things, on the go, and reading “freezes” them. Too many times I’ve heard men said that reading is a waste of time, not cool or only for wimps. That’s too bad. Little do they know women nowadays finds men who read attractive. Sexy even.” ~DS of MVBC
“[MEN] think reading is outdated, 2) There are more books for women than for men, and 3) Their boss won’t let them escape work.” ~Andhyta Fisrselly U (@Afutami)
“I always thought that men who read don’t use to talk about as women do. It is a common thought, at least in some environments, that read is time wasted. But it is supposed to that women can’t help themselves to dream and talk about so although it is an unproductive task *sigh* women are women (sarcasm). I know men who read. In fact, I’m proud to say that I have good examples in my family, but overall the grown of them are quiet readers…” ~AR of MVBC
“Reading was a major entertainment inJane Austen ‘s day; now it must compete with TV & Internet!”~Patricia Milburn (@grannyuser)
”Men used to read a lot in the 17th/18th centuries. They were also the main writers of books. Women, in order to be seen and heard, often had to pose as male writers to get their works published. The tables have changed considerably with two world wars….Reading fictional novels didn’t pay the bills, put food on the table or end two world wars. Men are reading but now its not so much a paged-book; now, its computer, ipod, ipad, iphone or cell phone screen”. ~SK of MVBC
“[MEN]… are too busy watching sports!” ~Anna Votino Stabolid (@figjam666)
“I think Men have got lazy over the years…too busy watching sports!ears. They can’t be bothered to read if it doesn’t benefit them right here and now. It’s sad. We rely too much on the women in our lives to read for us: mothers, sisters, girlfriends, wives” ~HP of MVBC
“Two words: SPORTS and INTERNET” ~Sofia Lopez Garcia (@Sophi0518)
Well, gentleman and ladies, there you have it. All very interesting opinions; all valid; all make sense, don’t you think? OK Men, what are we going to do about this? Can we possibly balance our reading habits to that of the female persuasion. Why Do You Think Men Don’t Read As Much As Women? We welcome your comments!
Welcome EVERYONE to the ManVsBooksClub!