Monday, February 7, 2011

WHO reads mysteries?

Did you ever wonder just exactly WHO reads mysteries? I found a fascinating report compiled by Sisters in Crime that sheds some light on just WHO reads mysteries. On page 4 of this report you will find that they polled 1,056 people and include statistics such as: 64% were female; 47% were over 60 years of age, etc. etc. So if you are curious, give it a read.

The results made me ponder. If 47% are over 60 and only 14% are under 30 years of age... doesn't that correlate to what those who were polled read as children?

Today my two genres of choice are mystery and historical novels. I grew up with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys with some classics thrown in for good measure.
Does the fact that today's youth are reading fantasy (Harry Potter) and vampire novels predispose them toward fantasy reading in their later years?

In this digital age some suggest that a very small percentage of youth read for pleasure at all. That thought makes me very sad... I have also read that students fail to read complete novels at school after being presented with short extracts and worksheets to practice comprehension and sentence structure (Cliff Notes, Coles Notes).

Don't misunderstand me, I think it is great that today's youth are reading, but I am fairly convinced that they should be exposed to a wider selection of genres. What they read now may indeed influence their future choices.


  1. Yes, exposure is the name of the game and broad based exposure to lots of different kinds of books (different genres but also differences in appeal types) can only help readers find and refine their own personal tastes. It's up to librarians and readers' advisors to go up against the big box mentality of what a "good" book is--which in their minds is one that has proven sales-ability--by exposing readers of all ages to lots of options. Thanks for posting this, Lynn!

  2. I grew up reading horse stories and Hardy Boys with some Nancy Drew mixed in. I know I read others too but can't recall them. Today I read a wide ranges of genres and blog about them.

    I have to say Harry Potter brought reading alive for my then tween who now reads a generous amount of YA novels of varying genres. She prefers light chicklit but has read all the Stephanie Meyer books and all the Harry Potter books a few times over. I am just grateful we found something that initiated her love of books!