On a + note

Why do folks choose a book? Part 2 – #33 2010

Posted in on a + note by kendal0 on September 27, 2010

I am still thinking about why we read what we read. Aside from awards, competition, and slick marketing, folks select titles because:

“Its part of a series…”

Just think of the success of Stephanie Plum and Janet Evanovich, who is now on number sixteen! A successful series is a huge predictor of future reading habits, but then librarians have known that forever. Just look to these series…

Series Author # of titles Dates Copies sold
Harry Potter J.K. Rowling 7 1997-2007 400 million
Perry Mason E. Stanley Gardner 82 1933-1970 300 million
Goosebumps R. L. Stine 62 1992-1998 300 million
Nancy Drew Carolyn Keene + 175 1930- 200 million
The Chronicles of Narnia C. S. Lewis 7 1949-12954 120 million

A Hot Topic

Trends drive reading selections and preferences. Think about the huge impact “foodies” and the Food Network have had on the cookbook industry in the last few years.

Top selling cookbooks Author Affiliation Copies sold
Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics Ina Garten Food TV 640,000
Martha Stewart’s Cooking School Martha Stewart Martha Stewart 317,992
Giada’s Kitchen Giada De Laurentiis Food TV 301,663

Movie Tie-ins

The connection between movies and books is a double-edged sword; either you loved the book (e.g. Where the Wild Things Are) and can’t wait to see the move or loved the movie and want to relive it through the text. Just look to the movie Eat, Pray, Love, based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling novel. Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) is on the heels of a divorce, learns in Italy to appreciate life, discovers the power of prayer in India, and finds the meaning of love in Bali. (Although I am a huge Julia fan, I found the book to be even better!)

But, what is the number 1 motivator to read a book? What is the number one reason a person selects a book? Stay tuned, and I will tell you next Monday!!

Kitty Pope
kpope @ alliancelibrarysystem.com #33 September/10

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