Readersforum's Blog

June 27, 2013

Boys to Men

Nouns in Book Titles1 | By Philip Stone

Earlier this week I began a light-hearted look at the most common nouns that appear in the titles of bestselling novels—but my research turned into something a little more unsettling.

While I can reveal that “secret”, “day”, “time”, and “house” are among the nouns that have become your biggest bankers, it saddens me to report that, where novels are concerned at least, men are “men” but women are “girls”.

Fact One: Of the top 1,000 bestselling adult novels of 2013 with titles that contain male gender terms (and by this I mean specifically “man” or “men” and “boy” or “boys”) 93% contain “man” or “men” with just 7% containing “boy(s)”. Whereas, of the bestselling novels with titles that contain female gender terms, we see just 19% containing the adult “woman”/”women” but an overwhelming 81% containing “girl(s)”.

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