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In a fascinating study shared by The Reading Room, men were found to be quicker to judge a book they’re reading than women are.

Reading habits | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Study by Jellybooks

The study was performed by Jellybooks, who used a bit of JavaScript in eBooks that measured reading habits of volunteers. By breaking down that data, they Jellybooks determined that men stopped reading books at an earlier point than women did. This suggests that men are quicker to decide whether they like a book.

Interestingly, the study shows no notable difference in the completion rates of most types of books. In other words, women and men were equally likely to toss a book aside before finishing it – but men made that decision having read fewer pages.

One way of looking at this is to say that women give books more of a chance than men. On the flip side, it also means that men are more likely to stick by a book once they’re a certain portion of the way through it.

This present a unique challenge for writers. In Jellybooks founder Andrew Rhomberg’s analysis, writers have only 20 to 50 pages to capture [male readers’] attention.

Interestingly enough, all of these conclusions apply more or less equally to all types of books – with the notable exception of books that deal with feelings, which include books about emotions like grief, loss and love, but also books about relationships in general and romance in particular. On these books, men’s completion rates dipped below women’s.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the gender of the author doesn’t seem to matter – only that of the reader.

You can check out Rhomberg’s full write-up of his company’s results over at Digital Book World.

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