By Aleksandra Vayntraub // SWNS
Almost three in five Americans hope their summer reading choices will make them seem more intelligent, according to new research.
In a recent survey of 2,000 U.S. respondents, 56% admitted to reading at least one “serious” book in the summer to look smarter.
Thirty-six percent used the summer months to brush up on their knowledge of history, while two in five said they read more mysteries on summer vacation than they do at any point of the year.
More than half (53%) looked forward to romantic reads on their holiday break — including, surprisingly, more men than women (56% vs 37%).
Men were also more likely to admit they use the summer to read books they like without fear of judgment (73% vs 62%).
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of ThriftBooks, the study also revealed that while summer is the biggest season of reading for almost half of respondents, they’re planning to add an extra half hour of weekly reading this fall.
Two in five said they’ll base their fall reading selections on recommendations from people they know, more so than best-seller lists (33%) and even book club picks (22%).
Respondents also shared examples of the best books they’ve read that they’d originally assumed would be “fun” and “mindless,” including “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury, the “Plum” novels by Janet Evanovich and “Desperation” by Stephen King.
And almost half (48%) said they’re eager to read a book that has been made into a Netflix show.
But is it better to read the book first, and then watch the adaptation afterward? Eight in 10 respondents think so.
“It’s interesting that many of the books that became people’s favorites started out with low expectations,” said a ThriftBooks spokesperson. “Just like with human relationships, it sometimes takes a while to get to know a book beyond its first pages.”
Nearly half of respondents said they love reading physical books because of how the pages feel, 46% love seeing their progress while reading and 42% use it as quality time away from screens.
Among the various book formats, most respondents still prefer paperbacks (51%) and hardcovers (46%) to e-readers (34%) and audiobooks (23%).
“It’s great to see the continued love and appreciation people have for physical books,” the spokesperson added. “People still love to snuggle up with a good read; it’s a great way for them to slow down and immerse themselves in another world.”
WHAT BOOKS AND/OR GENRES ARE AMERICANS’ BIGGEST GUILTY PLEASURES?
- “Erotica and vampire romance.”
- “Bios and autobiographies of rock stars.”
- “Books about true crimes and serial killers.”
- “Cozy mysteries, especially ones set in Britain.”
- “Danielle Steele books.”
- “Nicholas Sparks books.”
- “The ‘Outlander’ book series by Diana Gabaldon.”
- “‘The Paying Guests’ by Sarah Water.”
- “‘Murder She Wrote.’ I preorder so I don’t miss them.”
- “The memoir is my biggest guilty pleasure. I love memoirs that are filled with angst.”
FAVORITE BOOKS PEOPLE ORIGINALLY THOUGHT WOULD BE “MINDLESS”
- “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E. L. James
- The “Twilight” series by Stephenie Meyer
- “Married to the Devil's Son” by Jasmine Joseph
- “A Painted House” by John Grisham
- “A Dog's Promise: A Novel” by W. Bruce Cameron
- “Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls” by R. L. Stine
- “Misery” and “The Langoliers” by Stephen King
- “People We Meet on Vacation” by Emily Henry
- “The Queen of the Damned” by Anne Rice
- “Shopaholic Takes Manhattan” by Sophie Kinsella
- “Tears of a Tiger” by Sharon M. Draper
- “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han
- “Violets are Blue” by James Patterson
- “What Are the Odds? From Crack Addict to CEO” by Michael J. Lindell