Do You Prefer Reading Books by Someone of Your Own Gender or the Opposite Gender?

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I'm testing a theory. You can give an explanation if you like, but all I really need to know if you prefer reading books by your own gender or the opposite gender.

I know you may enjoy books by both, but if you had to pick just one, which would it be?

I'll explain it later.


Edited to add: Please indicate "my own gender" or "the opposite gender" if you would. That's because, if you say something like "I like reading the males perspective" when your forum user name doesn't indicate if you are male or female doesn't tell me what I need to know.

By the way, there are no wrong answers and you're not being judged in any way.
  • Profile picture of the author Nigellus
    I think I will choose to read the books by my own gender. Because the way he think may similar as mine.
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  • I never really thought about it much. J.K. Rowling used her initials specifically to be ambiguous so boys would be more likely to read her book, but once they were popular, I guess it didn't matter anymore...

    But overall, I guess I have gravitated to read a book by a Hemingway or Steinbeck, rather than an Austen or Alcott, because they come from a male perspective, but then, that theory always doesn't hold, because it also depends on the subject matter, ie: Frankenstein by Shelley, or Fountainhead by Ayn Rand...or Agatha Christie, etc.

    And you are referring generally to fiction - right? Non-fiction is a different realm...

    Edit: My own gender -


    Edit edit: When men write - they get to the point...women are so "wordy" :p :rolleyes:
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by MoneyMagnetMagnate View Post

      I never really thought about it much. J.K. Rowling used her initials specifically to be ambiguous so boys would be more likely to read her book, but once they were popular, I guess it didn't matter anymore...

      But overall, I guess I have gravitated to read a book by a Hemingway or Steinbeck, rather than an Austen or Alcott, because they come from a male perspective, but then, that theory always doesn't hold, because it also depends on the subject matter, ie: Frankenstein by Shelley, or Fountainhead by Ayn Rand...or Agatha Christie, etc.

      And we are referring to generally fiction, right? Non-fiction is a different realm...
      Fiction, non-fiction, doesn't matter. Lump it all into "reading" and then...

      Your own gender or the opposite?
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      • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
        Wow! That's a tough one as you have stated, I enjoy reading both.

        I tried to sort it out by genre of book like mystery, adventure, etc., but that didn't work either.

        So I did a tally and I do have more books by male authors, so my answer is opposite gender.

        However there may be more male authors than female ones, so I don't know if that is an accurate way to determine my answer.

        Sorry Dennis, I didn't mean to make it so complicated.

        Terra
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  • Profile picture of the author scottsdaleins
    Most of the books that I remember I've read are by male authors... so same gender.
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  • Profile picture of the author waterotter
    As 3m and Terra have indicated, that is a tough question. I'm going to say male, the opposite gender.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
      This is way too stressful. I don't want to get it wrong.

      I'm going with transgender.


      ~Bill
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      • Originally Posted by Bill Farnham View Post

        This is way too stressful. I don't want to get it wrong.

        I'm going with transgender.


        ~Bill
        It could be the dust jackets were switched at publication...:rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    i never thought about it that way, So, i went and looked at a few shelves of books i have read, and then 20 some thing books on my reader... i was quite surprised
    the over whelming majority were written by females. ( i am male )

    I personally pick books via the synopsis, or if its a author i have read before and enjoyed.

    A am really intrigued by your question now, as i was sure my answer was going to be 50-50 ...
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I can't pick one - I've read four excellent books in the past week - two by women and two by men.

      Content and style - not by gender.
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  • Profile picture of the author Exel
    As for fiction - it doesn't matter. Don't know the stats but I think it's a given that
    there are more male authors than female, so by default I read more books by male
    authors. Same thing with movies with regard to director or main character, though,
    naturally, I find it easier to identify with male character.

    As for non-fiction, which makes for the vast majority of books I read, author's gender
    still doesn't matter. Again, the overwhelming number of male authors contributes that
    I almost exclusively read books written by males.
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  • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
    Before this post I hadn't even thought about a preference. I've just checked my book collection, and it's about 99% male.

    I guess guys write the sort of books I like.

    However for the purposes of this thread*, I'll go with same gender.

    *Assuming there is a purpose**

    ** Probably a bad assumption to make in the OT Forum.
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    It'll just knock over all the pieces, poop on the board, and strut about like it's won anyway.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
    I can't answer on a broad-based level because there's a discrepency between fiction and nonfiction.

    For nonfiction, it absolutely doesn't matter to me. Information is information.

    For fiction, I overwhelmingly gravitate toward same gender. However, I'm not sure if the bias is completely with me or if the authors play a significant part. I typically read action-oriented spy novels and the genre is dominated by male authors.

    However, I'll be honest enough to say that I probably have a preconceived notion that a female author wouldn't bring the action like a male author. I'm positive I'm missing out on some great authors due to this, but my reading time is precious and limited, so I tend to go with what I know.

    Edited to add: I've actually thought about this before and discussed it with my wife, so I'm intrigued to see where you're taking this, Dennis.
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    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      I don't think I've ever given a second thought to the gender of the author when considering a book purchase or Library borrowing. However, a quick look along my bookshelf shows a bias toward male. I put this down to the genres (in both fiction and non fiction) that I tend to favour. There are probably more male writers in general in those fields.

      When I check the digital books I've downloaded, the split between genders is much more even; almost 50/50.


      Frank

      EDIT: My response doesn't really indicate a preference either way. It's merely a statistic. Once I have the book, I'm just as likely to enjoy (or not) reading a female author as a male.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    I have never thought about this before. But now that you mention it; the majority of the fiction I read is by female authors. Sue Grafton. Patricia Cornwell. Janet Evanoivich. Though I still enjoy rereading Dashiell Hammett on occasion.

    With non-fiction it really doesn't matter. It's only about the information.

    Rose (and yes, I'm female. With a name like Rose I'd be constantly harassed otherwise)
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  • Profile picture of the author bravo75
    I really can't think of any books I've read by female authors. There has to be one.
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      The Diary of Anne Frank perhaps?

      That was required reading for the whole class in 6th grade for me anyway.

      Terra
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      • Profile picture of the author bravo75
        Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post

        The Diary of Anne Frank perhaps?

        That was required reading for the whole class in 6th grade for me anyway.

        Terra
        Yep, read that one. I have probably read more books by female authors, there are just no names that spring to mind. For some reason Harry Potter keeps popping into my mind.:rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Thanks for the responses everyone. There are a lot of legitimate side issues, which, if I had thought my question out more thoroughly, I might have been able to avoid (thinking things out thoroughly isn't likely to happen at 2:19 AM :p)

    The theory I was testing wasn't my own. I was studying some material on psychic cold reading techniques. No, I don't want to be a fake psychic, but there are some interesting psychological tactics the phonies use that could be useful in copywriting - Barnum statements, rainbow ruse, self-serving biases, etc. - I'm always trying to learn new things.

    Anyway, one of the "techniques" to cold reading someone is to use broad generalities that apply to most people, but use them in a way that makes it seem personal. One of the suggested generalities they listed was, "People typically prefer reading books written by authors of their own gender."

    So, I was just trying to gauge how accurate that was, as one means of judging the validity of the material. Thanks for playing along!
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  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    I don't choose books by gender of author, but if I like the writing (not necessarily the same thing as good quality per se). That said, it kind of splits evenly between male and female authors. I have no idea if I've ever read a book by a transgendered author -- does "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas" by Gertrude Stein count?
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    • Originally Posted by thunderbird View Post

      I don't choose books by gender of author, but if I like the writing (not necessarily the same thing is good quality per se). That said, it kind of splits evenly between male and female authors. I have no idea of I've ever read a book by a transgendered author -- does "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas" by Gertrude Stein count?
      Or Renee Richard's - "Tennis My Way"...

      Or -
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Gender doesn't matter. Age doesn't matter. That is true for authors, speakers, actors/actresses, etc...

    Why would anyone care? For Gender, if it doesn't come across as too flowery, patronizing, or spouting stupid propaganda, I'm fine with it. With Age, if it isn't like dick and jane, etc... I'm probably ok. etc...

    HECK, I select authors from books, NOT the other way around. In fact, Issac Asimov comes across like a guy I really don't like, but I DO like him as an author, and have several books ranging from almost doctor references to fiction.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    BTW J.K. Rowling is a good example. SURE, she hid behind initials, like MANY! And that OFTEN means an odd name, or that it is a woman, which kind of gives things away. No offense meant! But people HAVE known that she is a woman for a LONG time!

    Males and Females ranging from the VERY young to the rather old have read and like her books. NOT because of who or what she is, but because of the BOOK! If they found another book written by her, they woulld probably think about reading IT. EVEN if they HATED women, and thought they were idiots. AGAIN, I am not sayig anything, ust emphasizing a point.

    There is a series in the US, called "warehouse 13", which has a whole series revolving around this evil scientist named "H.G. Wells". She creates a lot of grief for them, etc....
    Anyway, maybe you have heard of an author by the name of "H.G. Wells"? YEP, "Warehouse 13" says that ***SHE*** wrote the books. Would it have made ANY difference?

    Steve
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