Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What We Love to Read

Bible is America's favorite book: poll Tue Apr 8, 3:07 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - When it comes to literary pursuits in the United States most people agree on at least one thing -- the most popular book is the Bible, according to a new survey.

It came in first in a Harris Poll of nearly 2,513 adults but the second choice in the survey was not as clear cut.

"While the Bible is number one among each of the different demographic groups, there is a large difference in the number two favorite book," Harris said in a statement announcing the results.

Men chose J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" and women selected Margaret Mitchell's "Gone With the Wind" as their second-favorite book, according to the online poll.

But the second choice for 18- to 31-year-olds was J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, while 32- to 43-year-olds named Stephen King's "The Stand" and Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons."

Picks for second-favorite book also varied according to region. "Gone With the Wind" was number two in the southern and midwestern United States while easterners chose "The Lord of the Rings" and westerners opted for "The Stand."

Whites and Hispanics picked "Gone With the Wind" as their second-favorite book after the Bible, while African-Americans preferred "Angels and Demons."

"Finally, they may not agree on candidates, but one thing that brings together partisans is their favorite book. For Republicans, Democrats and Independents, the top two books are the same -- the Bible followed by "Gone With the Wind."

Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown, "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand and "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger rounded out the top 10 favorites.


ryan field said...

Okay. I don't feel so isolated after reading the end of the post. CATCHER IN THE RYE was there.

David said...

I'm sure people name the Bible as their favorite book because it's the answer they feel they're expected to give.

How many have actually read all of it?

Anonymous said...

I find parts of this survey very hard to believe. For example, I consider reading all of "Atlas Shrugged" to be a pretty big accomplishment, and I really doubt that it's the ninth most read book in America, let alone the ninth most popular. I wonder how this survey was conducted; some of these books sound like books people wished they read and think they should read more than what they really like. I am quite surprised at the popularity of "Gone with the Wind," too; amazon says it's currently #45 on their sales list, though, so it's apparently still flying off the shelves.

All in all, very interesting. And, it makes me think that I should start working on a sequel to the Bible soon if I ever want some significant book sales...

Anonymous said...

I have to wonder how many people participating in that poll said the Bible because, particularly in the current sociopolitical climate, it's the politically correct thing to say. I know several "Christians" who have never even cracked a Bible, much less read more than a few chapters.

Aimlesswriter said...

Interesting. What if the bible was just a fiction book that was mistranlated at some point? (okay, no flaming arrows please! It was just a random thought. I have a bad case of the "what ifs")
Some of the books mentioned were great. If I had a vote I'd go with The Stand.
So many books! So little time.

Ada [The Duchess] said...

That's very interesting.

GONE WITH THE WIND, THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, and HARRY POTTER are my favorites out of those. I never really could get into LORD OF THE RINGS. I tried, but it just didn't agree with me. He's a great storyteller though if you like that sort of fantasy.

I never think of THE BIBLE as a book. It's interesting that it still tops the list, all these years later. I think it has to do with religious faith whether people have it, are unsure, or are searching for it.

Tyhitia Green said...

I really don't fit anywhere because I love all categories. For me, it depends on the book, not the category. :*) Thanks for sharing, Lori...

Roscoe James said...

Great info. Thanks.

sumner_wilson said...

The Bible was number one when I was a lad. I suspect my great grandchildren well see it still in the same spot.

Me, I like "God's Little Acre." Erskine Caldwell--a great writer.