Study Shows Men Give Up on Books Sooner than Women

Folsom Library-Malereader-CindyFazziPicMen decide faster than women about books they like,  according to a study by Jellybooks. The research showed men give up after 20 to 30 pages if they don’t like a book.

“Men give up on a book sooner than women,” according to Jellybooks founder Andrew Rhomberg in an article for Digital World.  “Given the identical completion rates, we take this to mean that men have either more foresight in this regard or that women continue reading even if they already know that the book is not to their liking. We suspect the latter but we cannot prove at this point,” said Rhomberg.

Jellybooks, a U.K.-based startup, surveyed readers who received free e-books in exchange for data about their reading habits. Jellybooks embedded software into advanced review copy (ARC) of books, which recorded the survey participants’ reading habits online and offline. Part of Jellybooks’ mission is to study book discoverability and reader analytics.

Reading Research Results

Here are some of Jellybooks’ survey results:

  • The study wanted to see if the completion rate of reading a book was gender specific. The answer: No. Both sexes have an equal probability of finishing a book.
  • Key influencers on reading completion rate were not gender but a book’s writing style, strength of characters, topics, and other factors. This holds true across literary fiction, genre fiction, and nonfiction.
  • Age more than gender is a stronger determining factor if a person is going to stop reading a book. Readers between ages 35 and 45 were more likely to give up than younger or older readers.
  • More women than men participated in the study, which is consistent with data that more women than men buy and read books.

Read more about this study.

Read related stories about research on reading and readers:

New Study: Books Empower Readers to Do Positive Things

Readers Say Romance Novels Empower, Promote Feminist Values

Pew Research: Young Americans and Women Read More

Pew Research: Majority of Americans Value Public Libraries

Goodreads Survey Shows Gender Divide in Reading Choices


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  1. Study Shows Readers Judge a Book by its Cover | Cindy Fazzi
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  3. Study: Reading Completion Rate Correlates with Reader’s Age | Cindy Fazzi

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