2016 Survey Results

2016 Survey Results

Every year for the past five years, we’ve done a reader survey in August to take the temperature of the blog. Thanks so much to those of you who participated! Your responses are so helpful, as well as entertaining and funny. I always feel like I’m among kindred spirits when I’m reading through them.

So who’s actually reading this blog? Let’s take a look.

The basics:

MMD - Reader Survey 2016 - How old are you

As far as age is concerned, MMD readers are all over the map. The average age of the MMD reader has gotten older over the past five years. I think my mom (aka Blog Evangelist Extraordinaire) might be responsible for this. Thanks, Mom!

80% of MMD readers are married or partnered (also an increase over years past).  56% of you have children living at home. About three-quarters of you are parents.

I didn’t even bother asking your gender this year. Year after year, 95% of MMD readers are female.

How you read the blog: MMD - Reader Survey 2016 - How do you find new posts

Just over half of you prefer to get your new blog posts by email, but that leaves plenty of you who get info on new posts in your favorite feed reader, on social media, or by going straight to the blog.

All about the books

We do book talk around here, but I’ve never asked you how—and how much—you all read.

The answer: you read a lot. Those end-of-the-world statistics about how many adults never read a book after college? That’s not you. 88% of you read at least one book every month.

MMD - Reader Survey 2016 - How many books per year

(Your comments on this question cracked me up. You’re right, if we do this again, I should ask how many of you read more than 50, 75, 100, or even more books per year!)

While just over 10% of you prefer to read ebooks, the vast majority of you prefer to read paper books or a healthy mix of paper and ebooks.

MMD - Reader Survey 2016 - Book formatBased on 5+ years of blog comments around here, I wasn’t surprised to see that nearly 55% of you most often get your books from the library. We have a lot of heavy library users, employees, and librarians reading this blog.

When you do buy books, Amazon is your favorite place to get them. This surprised me. MMD readers also love to get their books from local indie bookstores, local chain bookstores, and used bookstores. (Because you could choose more than one option, these numbers don’t add up to 100%.)
MMD - Reader Survey 2016 - Where do you get-buy your books

The fun stuff

I asked you to answer the questions, “What’s saving your life right now?” and “What’s killing you these days?” It was so interesting to see which responses came up over and over again.

Frequent mentions as current life-savers:

• Books and reading
• Coffee (with a smaller but vocal contingent leaning on hot and iced tea)
• Cooking/meal planning
• Audiobooks
• The library
• Your bullet journal

Unusual and interesting life-savers:

• Air conditioning
• Summer
• Early mornings
• Fresh flowers, in the garden and in bouquets
• Almond/coconut milk
• September Vogue is almost here!

What’s killing you? These answers also clustered:

• Heat/humidity
• Work
• Time management/busy-ness/tough schedules
• Kids/toddlers
• Politics/News

Unusual/unique responses to what’s killing you:

• Trying to pick audiobooks for my upcoming move/road trip across the country
• Mosquitos
Vegetables (specifically, getting them into our dinners)
• Cell phone battery
• Job hunting in the humanities and arts fields

What you want

Several of you pointed out to me that in the past, surveys have said you wanted a podcast … and now there is one! And that you wanted a book club … and now there is one! Now that these things are reality, I’d forgotten these were things you’d been asking for for years. I pay attention to these responses!

These were oft-mentioned responses:

• More “Anne”—more about my life, my clothes, my family, especially my kids. I was a little surprised at how many of you specifically said you loved the What I Learned and What I’m Into posts, and that you actually notice if I sit out a month on these! (Should I tell you now the clothes part is unlikely and the kids part isn’t happening, but I appreciate your interest? Also, if you’re new around here, there’s a whole blog category called My Life.)
• Podcast transcripts. (I hear you on this; that would be nice. The big barrier is getting transcripts is crazy expensive.)
• For the podcast, many of you wanted much more information about every book in the show notes, while others wanted me to eliminate the list of books from the show notes because it feels “spoiler-ish” to you.
• More personality posts, fewer personality posts. More posts about faith/religious stuff, fewer posts about faith/religious stuff. More posts about literary fiction, fewer posts about literary fiction. More and less of pretty much everything.
• Resoundingly: more bullet journal stuff, and more Tieks! (I’ve been working on a review page for ages. It is coming. In the meantime, the closest thing I have to a Tieks review is right here.)

Of interest

• I learned a new acronym: FOMOOAGB. Fear of missing out on a good book. Y’all are my people, obviously.
• I love how often the phrase “kindred spirit” comes up in these results every year.
• Many of you expressed the sentiment that this reader captured so nicely about the impact this blog has had on your reading life: Modern Mrs Darcy “mirrors my tastes while introducing me to books and authors I might not otherwise have read.”

That’s it for 2016. Thanks again for reading, and for helping me make this a happier corner of the internet. xoxo -Anne

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26 comments | Comment


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  1. Corby says:

    I love the survey every year. And every day I wake up and scan my inbox for your post. It’s my morning wake up with coffee…. Glad you’re in my world

  2. Bridget says:

    This was my first survey since I’m new here. It was fun to participate and to see the results. I know that “finding your tribe” is being overused a bit, but OH well. I’ve found my tribe 🙂

  3. For podcast transcripts, is there a way to set up a crowd sourced transcript option? For example, YouTube now allows creators to enable community sourced captions, and even before that fans of the vlogbrothers (Nerdfighters) created a wiki to transcribe videos. Just a thought — I try to transcribe captions for YouTube videos when I have time now and when it’s enabled.

    • Lori McKee says:

      What a great idea. I can see myself getting in to this. I love typing and much prefer reading a transcript to listening to a video – esp when I’m at work.

  4. debra says:

    Does your mom really write a blog? I would love a peek at it! Could you share a link? I am one of your “older followers.”

    • Guest says:

      The most amazing shoes ever. I’m a notoriously budget focused person. Bought a pair after reading Anne’s post awhile back and have now bought a second pair. I. Love. These. Shoes.

  5. Susan in TX says:

    Hmmm…podcast transcripts…typing practice for kids? I don’t know of any fancy way of doing them, but one of the podcasts I listen to that always has one has this at the beginning, “This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.”
    Seems like a preteen/teen who isn’t old enough to get a “real job” but is looking for opportunities to make some extra spending money might be able to do it for you at a low cost. And, they would have the added benefit of practicing their typing skills. With that disclaimer at the beginning, typos would be a little more forgiven. Just a thought if you find that there is a need for one.
    Definitely need to keep the book list at the end of the podcast show notes! Those who find it spoiler-y, need to not peek. That list has huge value for those of us with bad memories who are exercising/driving when listening and can’t take notes. 😉

    • Kristin says:

      I agree about the book list at the end! I usually listen while driving/washing dishes/cleaning bathroom and am not able to write a book down right away. The list allows me to go back when my hands are free/dry and add it to Goodreads. What would be really awesome is a link to add it directly to Goodreads from your list! Does such a thing exist?

    • Lori McKee says:

      Great idea re typing practice. But for me I think the show notes give me everything I want – transcripts not so necessary for ME, for this particular podcast.

      I’ve been thinking about your podcast, Anne, and why it is one of my favorites beyond the obvious – books! I think it is that it is SHORT and PREDICTABLE. The format is always the same, and I like that – I know exactly what to expect. It is short but not TOO short – just the right length – and the questions you ask are always exactly the questions I would ask.

  6. Phaedra says:

    I didn’t answer the ‘what’s saving my life’ because I was in a hurry hustling my kid, but I can tell you that I LOVE the weekly podcast and I look forward to it with a ridiculous amount of enthusiasm on Tuesday morning while I’m prepping for our work/school day. I agree with the statement quoted “mirrors my tastes while introducing me to books and authors I might not otherwise have read.” My TBR list is crazy long and I love it! Thank you for saving my life each week!

  7. Gabrielle says:

    Yours in one of the few blogs I get directly to my email, it makes me happy to wake up and read whatever you’ve posted that day. Please please don’t take the books out of your show notes, I love to be able to go back and look things up, I’m terrible about remembering book titles but LOVE your recommendations. My sister and I joke that you’re ruining our lives with your podcast because if we live to be 100 and read for 20 hours a day, we could never finish everything that’s on our TBR list.

  8. Well, I missed the survey but I will say I think we’re definitely kindred spirits. Your blog saves my life regularly 🙂 Oh, and graphic novels for my reluctant reader. We chatted about this awhile back via email. She just read the new A Wrinkle in Time and after catching up on podcasts, I think she’s ready for Hugo Cabaret. Fingers crossed!

  9. Laura says:

    Another thought on podcast notes, it would be more of a spoiler but it would be helpful to have headings on which books were the loved, hated and recommended!

  10. Jamie says:

    “Should I tell you now the clothes part is unlikely and the kids part isn’t happening, but I appreciate your interest?”

    Been thinking about this admirable boundary since I read it last week. 🙂

  11. Angela says:

    When I answered the survey question on how many books a year I read, I was torn between how many I’ve read in the past years (the number is shameful) and how many I’ve read this year, which is at least one a month because of your 2016 Reading Challenge. So thanks for that!

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