Research Notes Part 1: Genders & Ages Preferences

What genera’s have been most popular over the last 5 years?

Website Used:

Most popular book genres of all time

Most popular books of all time are grouped into eight genres:

  • children’s fiction,
  • fantasy,
  • mystery,
  • classic literary fiction (up to 1950s),
  • modern literary fiction (after 1950s),
  • magic realism,
  • historical fiction,
  • YA fiction.


What age groups prefer these genera’s and what do other age groups prefer to read? 

Website Used:

  • Girls comprehend fiction better than boys.
  • Boys seem to prefer nonfiction, magazines, and newspapers.
  • Boys tend to prefer short texts or texts with short sections.
  • Girls enjoy leisure reading more than boys.
  • Many boys enjoy reading about sports and hobbies.
  • Some boys enjoy fantasy and science fiction.
  • Graphic novels and comic books are more popular with boys than girls.
  • Boys prefer visual texts.
  • Boys really do judge a book by its cover.

“teachers tend to use conventional wisdom to reinforce traditional notions of gender and gender preferences, thereby denying boys wider choices and chances to expand their tastes”

Website Used:

Poll take in 2014

Where do you purchase/acquire books?

  • Bookstores prove to be more popular amongst the under 30 crowd than other age groups with 53% citing bookstores as locations they frequently or exclusively use. The next highest group of bookstore users is the 40-49 crowd at 43%.
  • In addition, under 30s are more likely to borrow from friends than all other age groups.

What book format are you reading?

  • under 30s are much less likely to be reading ‘mostly e-books’ (13%) than all other age groups (23 to 25%), and more likely than all other groups to read mostly print books. Seems consistent with this group’s preference for bookstores and borrowing from friends.

What factors are important when choosing a book?

  • price has the least impact on folks in the 50-59 age group;
  • cover design is less of a factor the older you are, decreasing from 30% for under 30s to 14% for those over 60. You can’t fool older folks with an eye-catching cover!
  • All other factors – author, length, subject matter, trusted recommendation and publisher imprint – are roughly equal across age groups.

Where do you find recommendations for good books?

  • those under 30 say they get fewer recommendations from friends and more from browsing bookstores
  • those under 40 are the most like to use social media for recommendations
  • those over 50 are most likely to use the books section of their newspaper
  • online retailers and websites/blogs are relatively equal as a source of recommendations across age groups



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