Jill Guccini begins by asking us to put aside for a moment any idealized notions we may have about what people “should be” reading. This list, with E.L. James, James Patterson, Suzanne Collins, Bill O’Reilly and Danielle Steel heading off the top five, represents what they actuallyare reading, and there is value in knowing that.
There is also some reassurance in considering the demographics. There is roughly an even split of male and female authors, and some young adult ones thrown in too.
“So when I look at this list, I don’t see the death of culture as we know it. I think, ‘Huh. So we are all reading — ladies, men, adults, kids. We are just all folks.’ Because when you hear enough times that kid books aren’t as good as grown up books, or that men just don’t want to read books written by women, or that women never win as many literary awards as men, and on and on and on, this list actually feels like a smack of reality.”
And I have to say, I agree with her. Sure, E.L. James may not go down in history as the best author ever in the world, but she does target a certain demographic, and she’s getting that demographic to buy and read a book. That’s worth something, isn’t it?