I was reading a book review from Jessica the other day. She wrote an aside that she realized that she tends to read female protagonists. So it got me thinking: do I read more male or female leads in books?
I’m going to go into my Nook (no Kindle here…) history for this calendar year and give you a quick count. Take 30 seconds to think about your own habits as you imagine me counting.
So it would appear by my standards that I am really all over the place. I have no clear favorite, but really base my interest in a book based on the story itself. Hmmm. I’m actually surprised, because I thought for sure that I would have been leaning totally towards the female protagonist. When Jessica posed the question, my brain was screaming “Female Protagonist. Girl rule boys Drool. Of course I love female leads.” I made an assumption that because I identify as a woman, that my books would identify that as well.
So let’s drill down on the numbers. My favorite book that I read this year was Amor Towles “A Gentleman in Moscow”. I mean, gentleman is in the title, so you know you’re getting a male protagonist. But it didn’t matter. Book was elegant and intelligent and I just loved going page to page reading about the life of this gentleman.
My second favorite book this year was “Daisy Jones and the Six”. I know- woman in the title, but no….the book looks at things from the perspective of different people. So yes- we hear from Daisy, but we also here from other people. There is neither an overriding masculine or feminine tone to this book: it’s just a fun, interesting read where the voices of multiple characters are sharp and clear.
After looking at my list, I do realize that when I just want to be entertained, I almost always go for female leads. There are times when I don’t want to think: I want to sit under a blanket with a mug of tea and read, and these times are female protagonist time. I want to relate on that level, I want a character like me, or like my friends. My binge books lean towards females. I’m going to bet that the majority of my summer list will contain female leads.
What about authors? Male or female? I’m counting…
It would appear that I do tend to gravitate towards female authors.
So maybe I like books that are written from the perspective of a woman, no matter what sex their main characters identify as? Maybe women write the types of stories that I want to read? Maybe women write better dialogue and I am a dialogue girl?
But now that the question is out there on the table, you know I’m going to overthink this too. You know I’m going to be looking at the books I read/choose and asking myself the male/female question. Is the sex of the author important when choosing a book? Is the sex of the main character important? Do I choose books based on either criteria?
So now I’m throwing it out to all of you: answer any or all of the questions that I too am pondering. But basically, how does the sex of the author or sex of the main characters affect your reading habits?