Why men don’t read

We already know that 90 percent of the genre imprints in the UK are run by women. I wonder what percentage of the editors responsible for “premier fiction debuts” are female? Here are the names of the writers Publishers Weekly has declared are Writers to Watch: Fall 2015: Anticipated Debuts:

Elisabeth Egan, Ruth Galm, Lauren Holmes, Naomi Jackson, Alexandra Kleeman, Julia Pierpont, Eka Kurniawan, Gabriel Urza, Christian Kracht

Of the three male authors, one is Indonesian (writing about Indonesia), one is Swiss (writing about a Teutonic explorer), and the only “American” man is a second-generation Spanish immigrant who wrote his debut novel about “a politically-charged act of violence that echoes through small Spanish town.”

Now, these novels may be great. They may be forgettable. But just looking at the list is enough for the average American man to know that these are not books that are very likely to be of much relevance, or interest, to him. Do you know anyone who is anticipating any of these debuts? I certainly don’t.

No wonder the bookstores are turning into potpourri-filled gift stores. Those that remain open, anyhow.