Every year for the past six years, we’ve done a reader survey during the summer months to take the temperature of the blog. Thanks so much to the 5400 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.
If you took the survey, you probably noticed we included a few more specific questions this year—way beyond the typical stuff like age, location, favorite type of blog posts. We asked you how many books you read last year, and which fictional man is your favorite, and what the best book you’ve read recently has been. Your answers were warm and funny and surprising—can we all have a group coffee date soon? We’d have so much fun!
Let’s take a look at the more interesting survey results:
1. Our community is full of avid readers.
Historically, the survey has asked how many books you read each year, but the highest option we’ve given is 25+. (Last year, nearly 65% of you said you read 25+ books per year.)
Many of you have said in year’s past that you’d love to know just how much your fellow MMD readers read … so this year we put some bigger numbers in the survey. I was SHOCKED at how many of you checked those boxes! 12.2% of you read more than 100 books each year.
Here’s the breakdown:
Please note that if you read 1-6 books each year, you are still in very good company. And if you’re one of those outliers who read 100+ books each year, you have found your people.
(The survey revealed that we are also a group who use the library heavily. Is it any wonder, given the rate so many of us burn through books?)
2. You have opinions about fictional men.
Just for fun, we asked: Team Darcy or Team Blythe? I thought it would be a close call. I was wrong.
A full quarter of you didn’t care (answering, Who? or Guys in breeches aren’t my thing). But Darcy took the pie (chart) with 47%, doubling Gilbert Blythe’s 24%. Many, many Austen men got your write-in votes.
(When I took the survey as User #1, to make sure everything worked properly, I checked the box for Team Blythe. Can we still be friends?)
3. You are so much fun to talk books with.
This year, for the first time, we asked you to tell us about the best book you’ve read so far this year.
We didn’t provide options; this was a simple fill-in-the-blank question. (I had no idea Google would aggregate these responses, which, while imperfect, was super helpful.)
Two things surprised me: 1. How many of you, with no prompting, called out many of the same titles as your favorites, and 2. You gave nearly 4,000 titles one vote each. We’re reading and discussing many of the same books, but we also read widely. I love that!
4. Books and coffee are lifesavers.
Last year for the first time I asked you to tell me what’s saving your life right now. (This post gives the background.)
I love reading through your answers.
In the survey, I also asked you to share what’s killing you these days. For some of these responses, readers already knew they weren’t the only one: work, the summer heat and humidity, politics. Time, in its various iterations, came up again and again and again. (Not enough time, time management, too little time to read, my calendar, organizing my time …)
But I was so surprised at how many highly specific responses were shared by more than one reader, like “my teenager’s cussing and general attitude about life”, “planning my homeschooler’s high school schedule”, and “dealing with a parent’s illness.” Also appearing with great regularity: bug bites, morning sickness, the laundry, Facebook.
5. You keep coming back for the books.
MMD isn’t your typical book blog, and for a long time I protested that that was really what it was. (I know, I know.) You probably won’t be surprised to learn that your most-repeated responses were about the books.
Your answers here were very similar to your fill-in-the-blank answers about your favorite book. The top 10 is highly consistent, but you listed nearly 4,000 unique additional answers that weren’t aggregated into this list. Themes that consistently appeared: inspiration, community, great discussion, and the mix of topics (something that comes up every time we do a reader survey).
Readers, that’s it for our 2017 survey! Thanks again for reading, and for helping me make this a happier corner of the internet. xoxo -Anne