Friday, February 27, 2009

Men Read for Education, Women for Pleasure

This week’s “ Business Question of The Week” is asked by Heather Washington, San Francisco, CA.

In The Equation, you speak about a book signing you had at a mall kiosk that was located right across from a video store. You wrote about the lines of men who came to buy the new John Madden video game, but had no interest in buying a book. Why do you think men would rather play video games over reading a book?

Omar Tyree Answers:

That’s easy. Men would rather play a video game over reading a book because a video game takes them away from their everyday grind of work, while reading a book keeps them in it. You must understand that a majority of men don’t actually read books for pleasure, they read books to sharpen up on certain career skills, or to read about other men who they admire in industry or in character. With that in mind, for men, reading is not so much to be enjoyed as it is, but to be studied and digested.

Women, on the other hand, tend to read much more for pleasure, where the actual content itself is not taken as seriously as if a man would read it. So oftentimes, when I ask the average woman to explain what she read to me, many of them can only offer if they felt the book was good or not, based on their personal pleasure principle, while bringing up certain emotional points of the book that they may have disagreed with or found interesting. But they usually cannot state an overall view, objective, or theme of a book like an average reading man would.

On the flipside, where video-playing men can get all into understanding the physical and technical manipulations of a video game, most women would find that to be a tremendous deal of work for no particular purpose at all. Why would a man want to spend so much effort and time, like a human octopus with a joystick, just to score imaginary touchdowns, steal cars, shoot up enemies, and kill bloodsucking zombies instead of doing more constructive things like fixing the broken garage door, repainting the house, or helping their sons and daughters with their homework assignments?

So as the book and the saying goes, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. But since I happen to be in the book writing and publishing industry, I became one of those few men who will actually read for pleasure as well as for work. And I happen to Love it! But what if I was not a writer? How much would I love to read then?

The Equation here concerns our individual Passions and Purposes. What turns us on as men or as women? And what is the ultimate Purpose for the things that we choose to do in our lives?

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