Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Read Apart

A study of reading habits of men and women (well, male and female British academics, for what that's worth) shows we don't read alike.

Not all that surprising. No cookie, for instance, for guessing which gender's top five reading list (it includes a tie) consists of "Jane Eyre," "Wuthering Heights," "The Handmaid's Tale," "Middlemarch," "Pride and Prejudice," and "Beloved."

But look just how different we are:

  • No male authors made the women's top five, and no female authors made the men's top five.
  • Only four books made both top 20 lists.
  • Men were most likely to have read their formative books as adolescents.
  • Women were more likely to read books to cope with difficult times.
  • Women liked shared, hand-me-down books; men liked new books and hardbacks.
  • Women had a more diverse list of favorites — 400 women named 200 books.