A new survey report by Library Journal gives us some important perspective on what appears to be a national obsession.
If you look at the mainstream media, you are prone to conclude that American adults are overwhelmingly enthralled by politics and current events.
The LJ survey found that when it comes to what adults read, it's almost the polar opposite.
The highest rate of circulation for adult nonfiction nationwide is in the cooking category, according to the survey. That isn’t much of a surprise, given the number of celebrity chef recipe books that are published each year. The category with the next highest circulation rate was medical and health books, again not much of a surprise given this nation’s obsession with all things related to our bodies and minds.
The surprise was in how low the circulation rate is for current-events and political books. That was at a stunningly low rate of 16 percent. Compare that to the rate for cooking books – 81 percent.
In the adult fiction category, the top rate was for mystery and suspense novels, followed by general fiction and then romance. At the bottom: westerns.
I don’t have the numbers for the Wimberley Village Library, but it appears to me that we follow the national trend when it comes to adult fiction circulation. I can’t say about adult nonfiction.