This Week in Books: Men and Their Book Clubs

I’m sitting here reading an article about men being a part of male-only book clubs. I’m thinking a few things as I read on, but I’m just surprised that we even need to point this out. Women have had their own book clubs since forever, and no one is writing up articles about those. But the reasoning for the original article referenced appears to attempt to dispel this myth that reading is somehow not manly or masculine.

Wait, what?

This is stupid. But the sad thing is that I’m not even surprised by this. I know some of you are really interested in BookTube and similar Instagram accounts, but I want to ask you something. When you think of your favorite book accounts on any social platform, who’s running it? Is it a man or woman.

In my experience I’ve found that girls are far more likely to be running these types of accounts. I’ve also found that they’re far more likely to gain a following through them. Maybe men are expected to be talking about sports or politics or something more manly, but some things I just don’t understand.

I do understand when girls gain larger followings on any social platform than the typical guy does because guys are stupid online. I know because I have a girlfriend with 22k followers on Instagram and I’ve seen the comments and DMs.

But I’d just like to ask why it’s so odd for a guy to enjoy reading. Should he be reading comics instead? Or should he be in the gym working to improve his overall health? Reading is one of many forms of entertainment (and much more to many) that people enjoy. I don’t know why it needs to be for one sex over another.

My question today is about stereotypes and perceptions. Why do you think a big deal is made when guys enjoy reading?

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5 thoughts on “This Week in Books: Men and Their Book Clubs

  1. It’s interesting that there is the stereotype that men don’t enjoy reading because men are often the most successful authors.
    It’s true that women are more likely to talk, vlog, and blog about reading, but I doubt there’s huge disparity between the male and female readership. I obviously don’t know this, but am curious to see what the actual stats are.

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  2. You make really good points, John. Obviously social media is pretty new, so we don’t know how it would have been in the past had Instagram been around in 1920. I have seen, though, that women – in the U.S., at any rate – have long been seen as the core readership for novelists. I recall reading for example of F. Scott Fitzgerald being disappointed initially about the sales of Gatsby, and he attributed it to a lack of an “admirable” woman character. Women, he said, seemed to be most of his readers. And that was the 1920s. Will that ever change? It seems unlikely. Women just seem to be bigger readers than men.

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  3. Pingback: The Reading Minority – R. J. Nello

  4. I read a similar article, and apparently these male-only book clubs refuse to read books with a female protagonist in order to exert their masculinity. Don’t they realize literature is a male dominated industry? And how insecure do you have to be to refuse books about women? I understand if they don’t want to read Chick Lit, but the Silence of The Lambs has a female protagonist. A lot of thrillers written by men do.

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    • We must have been reading the same stuff. I also read that. But I figure more of the groups do it in a pseudo fashion rather than taking that part of the group seriously. Though I could definitely be wrong.

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