First published on http://nymag.com/scienceofus/
The film adaptation of the best-selling young adult novel The Fault in Our Stars opened on Friday, which means that it’s time once again to argue whether adults have any business reading books written for kids. But here’s an observation: Many, if not most, of the essaysand think pieces on the subject have been written by women.
But what about the men who can’t get enough of John Green, or Rainbow Rowell, or the latest dystopian trilogy? I was curious about the men who read YA, so I asked some people who would know: a guy who reads and blogs about young-adult novels, and a guy who writes them.
Adults — as in, people age 18 or older — now account for nearly 80 percent of sales of young adult titles, and men do indeed purchase fewer YA books than women, according to the most recent Nielsen figures, which the market research firm shared with Science of Us. Overall, 60.5 percent of the young adult books sold were purchased by women, and 39.5 percent were bought by men. That gender disparity mirrors Pew research from January showing that men read fewer books of any genre — an average of four a year, as compared to six for women.