I’m jumping into Musing Mondays over at Should Be Reading, and this week’s question is very interesting:
In an article on NPR, author Ian McEwan is quoted saying, “When women stop reading, the novel will be dead.”
Do you believe this is true? Why, or why not?
Working in a bookstore for several years and just talking with people constantly, I do believe, in part, that this is true. While men are certainly reading, their points of interest usually lie in nonfiction, science fiction or fantasy. Of the male readers I know, all are almost exclusively fans of graphic novels, scifi or historical works.
If we’re talking novels in the traditional literature sense, I believe women are reading in far greater numbers than men. We have romance, chick lit, contemporary and mainstream literature, urban fiction, young adult . . . all sorts of fun genres to pour through. And while men can certainly join in on this excitement, it’s definitely seemed to me that more women are picking up stacks of paperbacks than men.
Will the novel be dead if women stop picking them up in droves? Of course not. People will write until we no longer have a language in which to do so — and even then, there were these crazy things called hieroglyphics we could call back onto the scene. Writers will always write and novels will always be written. Will anyone other than your friends, parents and lovers be reading them, though? That’s another dilemma!