Publishers, retailers and librarians are missing out on a potential market of 20m consumers because the book world is too intimidating, according to research conducted by HarperCollins, the Trade Publishers Council and the National Year of Reading (NYR).
The research, to be published this week, looked at attitudes to books in the C2DE socio-economic group, characterised as lower income, non-professional families and estimated at 20m in size.
It found that in many such families, books were seen as alien and unattractive, while reading was considered an anti-social activity for people who, as one respondent said, "don’t know how to live."
...They are one step away from book-buying - they do consume lots of leisure products and may have 2-300 DVDs in the house.
I thought this article at The Bookseller was a good follow-up to A Reader's Manifesto, which I just dug up and reread. It explains why modern literature turns people off. It's just not any good, it seems.
"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield