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I am a member of a book club. We have 7 female members and 1 male.
I see this trend a lot. Do women actually read more than men?
The Jane Austen book club has this classic ratio. Lots of chatty bossy interesting engaging women, and a token man.
I am not the first person to notice this phenomenon. BOOK LIST READER wrote about Why so Few men join Book Clubs. And in their article they raised an excellent point actually –
guys generally do not like to share their feelings in public, especially in the presence of a group composed mostly of members of the opposite sex; also, they aren’t greatly interested in minutely analyzing character and motivation, unless they happen to have a degree in psychology and have made this activity their life’s work; and finally, they aren’t comfortable in situations where they are outnumbered by ladies and where the leader of the group — that formidable person in charge — is (Gadzooks!) a woman.
Perhaps it really does depend on who is in charge…
A Social Thing – A lot of what happens at a book club is chatting about things that aren’t the book. It is my only criticism of the club actually. Too much talking.
Too much talking – Men like to share their opinions of things. talk it all out.
When I did find men in book clubs, here as discussed in this REDDIT thread, I noticed that these groups were men only. they were about men reading manly books and drinking beers and smoking too many cigarettes! Interesting.
In other forums online, readers tend to blame the choice of books on the lack of male attendance.
I would have to agree, in our book club we do tend to read a slightly more, female friendly kind of novel.
Book Clubs seem to bring out the gender stereotypes in all of us.
I have been to a number of writers festivals now – I am a member of a writers group on the coast and I went to my first book club meeting the other day – What have I realised? they are full of women – Women looking for the answers as to why they are not famous authors.
Are you in a book club? Are there any boys in it? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.