America’s Favorite Books

I ran across an interesting story the other day.   The Harris folks did a poll on American’s favorite books. 

Number one, across all genders and demographics, was the Bible, big surprise.   I really have to read that book one day.  Since I was one of 10 people in my age group who were actually raised Unitarian (interestingly I met another club member yesterday) I’ve never read it.  We Unitarians learned about starving children in Africa instead of psalms. 

The choice for the number two book on the list diverged dramatically for men and women. Men chose, not terribly surprisingly, Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings.  But it did my heart so much good that women chose Gone with The Wind.  We still read that book!  Reading that book was a rite of passage back in the dark ages when I was in elementary school.  I actually have a scene in my novel where a young girl is reading Gone With the Wind and I hesitated before I wrote it because I wasn’t certain young girls still read it.  So, hooray for it still being read.  I actually watched part of the movie on TV a couple months ago–do you know that it is three hours long? 

However, in people aged 18 to 31, the second choice for favorite book was the Harry Potter series.  And for 31 to 42 year-olds it was either The Stand by Stephen King, or Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.  I’m actually a huge fan of The Stand.  I read it avidly years ago, and then sat through the mini-series, too.  But Angels and Demons?  I have to admit I’ve not read it, but, um, I read the DaVinci Code, and, well, I had to restrain myself from throwing it across the room.  I prefer my characters a bit more realistic, I’ll just say, and leave it at that.

Another interesting point was that favorites varied by region.  Southerners and Midwesterners chose Gone With the Wind, while easterners chose Lord of the Rings and westerners chose The Stand (yay for westerners). 

The rest of the top ten including To Kill a Mockingbird, and Atlas Shrugged, and Catcher in the Rye.  It might be fun to re-read, or read in a couple cases, the top ten list.  But then I always start projects like that and abandon them when a glittery new book catches my eye.

Here’s a link to the USA Today story:  Bible is America’s Favorite Book:  Poll.

By the way, since you’ve read this far, let me remind you of one more thing–I’m running a survey with a prize drawing a the end.  Check it out here.

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4 Comments on "America’s Favorite Books"

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Jen
Guest

I love, love, LOVE The Stand! It’s so great! And I read Gone with the Wind in 7th grade, and I wanted to live at Tara so badly I could taste it…

Jenny
Guest

I’ve read the Bible and it is my favorite book of all. I’ve also read GWTW and love it dearly! To Kill A Mockingbird and Atlas Shrugged are favorites of mine as are Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I plan to read them all again “someday.”

BTW I ran across an interesting book the other day at Barnes & Noble, entitled “1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die” or something like that.

Martha Alderson
Guest

Great blog!

I’m interested in learning your “take” on my latest post:
http://plotwhisperer.blogspot.com/

Writer to writer…….

Charlotte
Guest

I would really love to read the Bible. I’ve tried it a couple times, and not having any guidance, I end up quitting. Maybe I should buy “The Bible For Dummies” or something.

I love it when people have the same favorite books–its like discovering you have friends in common!

And Martha, your post was great. I commented on it at your blog.

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