A recent Gallup poll found that Americans are reading fewer books than ever before, with the average American reading only 12 books per year. This can be a total shock when you take into account the fact that over a million books are published per year in the United States alone.
So what are Americans actually reading when they open a book for their lonely monthly reading? Well, a new study from online tutoring site Typing analyzed Google Trends data in each of the 50 states to find out which book genre is most interesting to its residents.
While Marvel has a stronghold on film-watching audiences, the past decade has been exceptionally kind to fantasy lovers wanting to explore their favorite magical realm on TV. With book-to-screen adaptations like The Wheel of Time, Game of Thrones, and Shadow and Bone captivating audiences everywhere, it’s no surprise that fantasy is one of the most popular genres in the country, in that it is coming. Eleven different states top the list.
Not to be outdone, thriller and horror fiction take a second and third place, ranking as the top genre in the ten and nine states, respectively. This makes sense when you consider great writers like Stephen King and James Patterson. They constantly bring out new books, some of which launch adaptations that attract mass audiences.
While people may have their grudges about the large number of book-to-screen adaptations being greenlighted in recent years, it’s a good thing if it gets people interested in reading. Last year saw the blockbuster release of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune, the Prime Video adaptation of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series, and Netflix’s buzzy horror series based on RL Stine’s Fear Street book series. Taking a closer look at the typing analysis of that data, there is a direct correlation with these optimizations that fuels additional Google searches and interest in the source material.
unexpected plot twist
A spokesperson for Typing spoke about the incident, saying, “It’s exciting to see that despite the prospect of watching movies and TV series more easily at hand every day, many Americans are still holding their own with a good book in hand. The company enjoys it. In fact, it is fascinating how the evolution of various forms of media on platforms such as Netflix and Prime Video often prompts viewers to become readers for their knowledge of the subject where their favorite movies are from. Buying books to expand upon, quickly discovering what comes next in the plot and being able to compare the two, can make the most of their experience.”
Not surprisingly, data from the typing indicated an increase in searches for Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series last year. Nevertheless, in Iowa, Nevada, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, romance novels took the crown as the most popular genre. So at least Lady Whistledown has something to gossip about, even if she has to write about New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover ranking above all other novelists in those states.
Despite the prevalence of Star Wars and Star Trek in pop culture, science fiction took the top spot in only one state—Vermont. Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s beloved mysteries wasn’t enough to tip the data scales, with the mystery genre only coming out on top in South Dakota.
Researching typing may not be an exhaustive study of what people are reading in each state, given that people probably search for a lot of books they’re never actually going to read. Still, it’s an eye-opener to see which books—and their adaptations—capture the attention of Americans. A deeper look at the publishing industry and its readers reveals that while romance is one of the most lucrative genres, they may not be the most sought after. In 2021, booksellers sold over 47 million romance novels, accounting for 30% of all adult fiction sales and raking in nearly $1.5 billion!
Despite the sentiment surrounding the book-to-screen adaptation and the disturbing little ones as “seen on Netflix” stickers, it’s safe to say that Americans are finding a renewed interest in books when it comes to watching stories on screen. . While this can be frustrating for book lovers—and authors—it is certainly still a positive piece of data.
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Best Books of All Time: 41 Can’t Miss Titles for Every Genre Jasmine Guillory’s ‘By the Book’ Is the Modern ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Tale We’ve Been Waiting ForThis post produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks Was.