Stephen King has an article in Entertainment Weekly called “Who Days Real Men Don’t Read?” where he talks about the publishing industries perception that men don’t read. Even though most current bestsellers are written by women, King says the idea that men who read are disappearing is false.
King also has some gender ideas about reading. Women have “chick lit” and men have “manfiction,” and both are genres that provide what people want when they read — escape and entertainment. What kinds of things does King think men and women like while reading?
Women like stories in which a gal meets a handsome (and possibly dangerous) hunk on a tropic isle; men like to imagine going to war against an army of bad guys with a Beretta, a blowtorch, and a submachine gun (grenades hung on the belt optional).
I’m not even sure where to start with that. I don’t read much chick lit or romance because it ultimately annoys me; I know plenty of men that wouldn’t touch “manfiction” with a ten-foot pole. I know that King has to simplify what is an interesting phenomenon about the reading habits of different genders in order to make it fit into his column space… but seriously? You want to talk about gender and reading and authors and stories and that is what you have to reduce it to?
What do you think of “chick lit” and “manfiction”? Do real men still read? What are some more sophisticated suggestions for guys that like to read?