Books beat out sex in poll—but is it representative of the world at large?

image Which is more important to you—e-books or sex?

I asked that question earlier this week, having been inspired by a New York Times article on an Intel-sponsored poll measuring attachment to  the Net vs. sex.

And I suggested that Jane at follow up in an e-book context. Hey, who says the good life is only about DRMless books and ePub?

Jane has kindly obliged me with a poll of DA readers—asking about books rather than e-books. Whatever the language, the current results may astound you:

Would you go without sex or books for two weeks?

Sex (84 percent, 213 votes)
Books (16 percent, 42 votes)

Remember, that’s among romance-book fans.

I suspect that the results wouldn’t be the same among TeleRead readers, about three-fifths of whom are men. Male egos and all that. In fact, a Wired article spotted by Jane says that 74 percent of men surveyed by Hall and partners would rather have sex than surf the Net. Same true of book-reading? Almost surely. Just 46 percent read books.

DA’s self-selected survey participants

But what about women in the world at large? An astute reader of the DearAuthor site put it well: “This being a self-selected sample of readers, I’d expect the majority of folks to answer ‘sex’ rather than ‘books’. But out in the real world, where there are scads of folks who never crack open a book, I expect the percentage would look very differently.” Exactly. And that’s true of both women and men in the big, bad world as a whole.

No reflection on Jane and She wasn’t pretending to be polling the whole planet. Big thanks, Jane!

About David Rothman (6820 Articles)
David Rothman is the founder and publisher of the TeleRead e-book site and cofounder of He is also author of The Solomon Scandals novel and six tech-related books on topics ranging from the Internet to laptops. Passionate on digital divide issues, he is now pushing for the creation of a national digital library endowment.

1 Comment on Books beat out sex in poll—but is it representative of the world at large?

  1. How can I get in touch with that 16%?

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