Reading, an illustration of the feminisation of cultural practices

For a long time dismissed from the scholarly world of books – it took them 350 years to enter the Academié Française, as Laure Adler and Stéphane Bollmann remind us in Les femmes qui lisent sont dangereuses (« Women who read are dangerous« ) – women have largely made up for their setback: today, they read on average 5 books more than men each year, and represent 53% of the market for novels.

Reading has become more and more of a feminine affair over the last thirty years: while essays, comics, science fiction and detective stories are by and large read by men, almost all of the other categories of books are bought by women as a majority. There are fewer women who never read, and amongst the French people who claim to read regularly, women read more books than men (INSEE 2005 <http://www.insee.fr/en/ffc/docs_ffc/ref/fhparit08h.pdf> ), all socio-professional categories and ages combined.

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