What are Readers Actually Reading? Fantasy in America

A Pilgrim in Narnia

Hobbit 2012 movie posterBestseller lists can tell us a lot about the books people buy, but they might not tell us as much about what books people actually read. Genre fiction, from Fantasy to Mysteries to Romance, is typically off the radar of bestselling lists because, I think, readers roam through the crowd of authors in their genre rather than just touching the hem of the bestseller’s garment. Moreover, good readers are likely to pick up the latest meme book–even if they don’t get around to it–or purchase a classic or lit fiction book that they should read it, like we should eat broccoli (you can see my confessions here and here).

That’s why I’m intrigued by the Barna Group’s recent approach to understanding readers. The Barna Group is an American evangelical organization that does sociological analysis. In January 2013 they did a survey of Americans to find out what they were…

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Author: Josh Withrow

I want to help people creatively tell their stories by giving them the tools to engage other people with captivating ideas. My 14 years of classroom teaching and my master's degree in English Literature give me the experience to make my classes both creative and informative. People don't need a degree to enjoy learning -- but sometimes a little guidance goes a long way.

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