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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been mulling this whole thing over since earlier.. it was brought up in another thread...

What is the "general public reader" like?
Is it the person that MIGHT read one book a decade? They may in fact not know any better because they are not exposed to correct sentence structure and grammar.
Is it the person who reads one book a year? a month? a week? a day?

I know I am not "normal" in my reading habits. I am normal for my family, but we have always read. When I met my DH the first thing I found out about him that really mattered to me, was that he read massive amounts of books like I did, so I didn't have to worry that he wouldn't "get" me. Our kids are big readers too. Even the one who reads the least, still reads a few of books a month. I'm at one extreme, and I know it..

Not counting those who don't read, or read so rarely as to not count - those once a decade readers- but if you count people who actually SAY they are readers... what do you consider to be the general reading public to be?
 

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First, the general public doesn't read. Second, those that do fall into many subcategories. Three, nobody speaks for "readers" because nobody knows the answer to this question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm not looking for an absolute definitive answer, just what do YOU consider it to be? There is no right or wrong here.
Although I did say NOT counting those that don't read.
 

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OK. I don't consider it to have sufficient common characteristics to define it. Sometimes you just have to say there is no general reading public.
 

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I agree with the estimate of roughly a book a month. I also agree that for the most part they don't notice and don't care about many of the things that are super-ultra-mega-important to us on these boards, at least not to give it a name. I don't just say that about those of us who hang out in the Cafe either. I think that the readers who frequent these boards are better read in general than your average reader. That's based on nothing but my reading of threads so I could be way off-base.

I'm a bit more in the one to two a week camp myself, depending on how much writing I'm trying to get done.

BTackitt said:
I know I am not "normal" in my reading habits. I am normal for my family, but we have always read. When I met my DH the first thing I found out about him that really mattered to me, was that he read massive amounts of books like I did, so I didn't have to worry that he wouldn't "get" me. Our kids are big readers too. Even the one who reads the least, still reads a few of books a month. I'm at one extreme, and I know it..
This is a really great observation. I think parents who read a lot have children who read a lot. My father has been an avid reader all his life. I got my distinctly un-girly love of action books from him. ;)
 

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Those who go to the expense of buying an e-reader likely read more than a book a month. Those who don't have an issue reading ebooks on their phones (I don't care so much for the small screen, but I've done it) also will read more than a book a month. If you think about all the places you go with your phone where you might have break time here and there ... well, having the phone with an ebook or three on it makes sense.

I agree with the sentiment that most of the general public doesn't read that much :( Maybe magazines in the doctor's office or Twitter or their Facebook page, but books? For entertainment? They would rather go see a movie or watch TV. Sad reality :(

As for the general book reading public? I'd say at least a book a month and probably more like 2-3. You have to factor in avid readers like my wife who read four books a week, at least, on average. And not only those puny Harlequin romances (although she likes those too). She doesn't like reading electronic at all, BTW. Says she will "never" read books that way. I will keep working on converting her :)
 

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The ones like Loonlover and myself that go through 50 to 150 books a year, least it's normal for us.
 

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I think this is impossible to define, as the range of interests, tastes and reading habits of the general public are too wide ranging to pigeonhole into some sort of "typical" reader. Many stick with their specific genre (romance, horror, mysteries, etc.), while others will sometimes crossover. Some read voraciously, others just occasionally.

I'm not even sure of the value of trying to figure that out...unless you want to write a book that appeals to the largest number of readers out there. But that's another story...and most likely a blockbuster (as long as you include varying amounts of sex, romance, action, mystery and a couple of good looking teenage zombies).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm not an author. I don't care about what genres people are reading..

HOW many books do you think the average reader reads. I ask because I have seen multiple threads with assumptions here in the Cafe regarding the "general reading public", and yet, if one cannot define even for themselves just what the "general reading public" is, how can one make assumptions about them? Again, not counting people who do not consider themselves to be readers, not the ones who read 1 book every 10 years.. just the ones who DO consider themselves to be readers.
 

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BTackitt said:
I'm not an author. I don't care about what genres people are reading..

HOW many books do you think the average reader reads. I ask because I have seen multiple threads with assumptions here in the Cafe regarding the "general reading public", and yet, if one cannot define even for themselves just what the "general reading public" is, how can one make assumptions about them? Again, not counting people who do not consider themselves to be readers, not the ones who read 1 book every 10 years.. just the ones who DO consider themselves to be readers.
Well, if we can't talk about books per genre, I guess I'd have to say 1-2 books a month. People who I know who consider themselves well read, but not bibliophiles tend to be under this heading.

I do think that each genre has different numbers. I think women who read romances read MORE than say the overall reading public. Likewise mystery readers. Simply because those books tend to be everyday language, not a lot of prose, and shorter than say, literature. People that read only Oprah books probably read less because those books are thicker, have lots of prose, and tend to have difficult topics to wade through.

That is my take, personally. I would be interested to see a poll of this somewhere, but I agree with Dalglish that the general reading public probably doesn't hang out here on the forums. Most of the readers I come in contact with here seem to be book addicts, like me. :)
 

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Marc Johnson said:
I consider them to be is female who read a lot more than their friends and family think. They're vocal and enthusiastic on books they love, but don't get an opportunity to talk about it much unless a movie adaptation comes out.
This. It's a middle-aged woman who reads when no one's around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
foreverjuly said:
My general reading public is entirely comprised of BTackitt.
*snicker* I do resemble that remark.. I own all of your books, and loved them... but I am a fickle reader.. I have all of the books from MANY indies here on KB. whether ALL consists of their only, or in the case of people like Half-Orc, McAfee, & you, it's a whole slew of books.

Which means your demographic consists of 40/f/ and reads 20-30 books a month.
 

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Half-Orc said:
General reading public? They ain't the crazy people hanging around on these forums, that's for sure ;D
:D

I think there's truth there though. Your average reader probably participates in exactly 0 forums dedicated to books and/or readers. They probably read 0 review blogs. Heck, the average Kindle owner has never even thought of going to a board of Kindle users. There community is probably their family, friends, neighbors, perhaps a library or a used book store. They're more likely at this point to pass a dog-eared copy of something over a fence than to borrow or lend an e-books.

They're a lot quieter than most of us! I'm guessing on some of this, but I think I have seen at least one survey on how most readers don't have an online presence as readers.
 
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