Monday, March 22, 2010

Typical Reader

Stephanie Newton here.  I read something recently about the target audience for Christian radio broadcast.  They call her Becky.  She's a 30-something to 40-something suburban soccer mom with two kids and a minivan.  (Okay, I made up the part about the minivan, but I'm pretty sure that's part of the deal.)  I mentioned this to my husband and said that I was a little offended because I fit the description to a T.  His answer:  don't you love the Christian radio station you listen to?

Well, yes I do.  Apparently, they have me pegged.  And apparently, I should be more aware.  Once I started looking, I could see that even my grocery store is aiming for a target demographic.  A pastor who preaches to a church full of college students about what to do in retirement isn't going to have a full church very long.  He has a target demographic too.

Now, I know that there is so much more to me than suburban soccer mom of two.  I have interests and hobbies that are completely different than the soccer mom of two who lives next door to me, but I do think fundamentally, we might have more in common than we think.  Here at this blog, we are all different ages, but we have a love of the Lord and love of romance that brings us together.

That said, I'm curious about "us." Who are we?  Readers?  Writers?  Do we read romance?  Suspense?  Both?  Only Christian fiction, or a mix?  Leave a comment about yourself--in generic terms, if you like.  Suburban, urban, rural, grandmother, mother, teenager, student, mom.  Tell me what you're reading now.

I'll get us started on this very un-scientific poll.  At the end of the day, I'll give away a copy of Smoke Screen to a random commenter, so please leave your email address, if you'd like to win it.  Thanks!


Stephanie Newton said...

I'm Steph, a forty-something suburban mother of two teenagers. I like to read mostly romantic suspense, with a little other romance thrown in from time to time. I also read popular Christian nonfiction.

What I'm reading now: Beth Moore's So Long Insecurity

Lynn Squire said...

I am a forty-something mom who is coming to realize that I am very different than most . . . and the market, for the most part, doesn't recognize that uniqueness.

I default to romance books only when I can't find a good fiction novel with a deep life-changing message, though I want that novel to have a subplot of romance. I don't read secular fiction.

My walk with the Lord is my highest priority, and I want my fiction reading to strengthen that walk . . . I don't want to read something that is only Christian fiction in title or merely given the label 'inspirational'. Most 'inspirational' fiction doesn't inspire me, but rather 'de-inspire's' me.

I've come to learn that many in Christendom's idea of 'Christian perspective' is very often almost polar-opposite to mine.

I do want to be respected for my conservative values. I do want to be challenged to have a deeper relationship with God when I read fiction. I do want to read about the fabulous saving grace available only through faith in Jesus Christ, and how it changed a character's life.

So, yes, I am very different and I find, for the most part, Christian fiction rarely meets my expectations because the message that should be present in something that bears the name "Christian" just isn't there.

But I'll continue to buy 'Christian fiction' because it is better than secular, and because occasionally I do find a real gem that reminds me that there are some authors who have the same desire for Christ that I do, and are capable of challenging me in my walk with the Lord. To those few, I say: thank you, from the bottom of my heart; keep God first; keep in remembrance Him who sacrificed it all for you; and keep the faith.

Unknown said...

Interesting. I'm 29 years old. I'm a mom to a toddler. I'm a writer. I work full time. I mostly read Christian romance (not much suspense) and a lot of nonfiction. said...

Hey Steph! I am 50...yikes, doesn't that sound old? I am a mother of 3 daughters and just recently became a grandmother (yay...that takes the sting out of 50).
I read everything...I too am finishing the Beth Moore So Long Insecurity.
I am also reading The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks (because my girls insist I read it before we see the movie.>Two days ago I picked up the newest book by Francine Rivers Her Mother's Hope.
Reading is a huge part of my life. I read to be fed...inspired...and challenged. I also read to learn and yes, I read as an escape. All three of your books are at my condo and I have had friends and family stay and read them and comment to me that they are great vacation reads....suspenseful, uplifting, and trash-free!!!

Stephanie Newton said...

Actually, the closer I get to fifty, the younger it sounds!

I'm finding this so interesting, reading about you all and a very small description of what your lives are like.

Virginia, there's definitely nothing crazy about rescuing animals and loving them! One of my best friends fosters puppies for the shelter in her home town. She always has a houseful of babies!

Ellen, I read a lot of different genres too--my dad got me hooked on espionage thrillers when I was in high school, so he and I still share books.

Julie, wow, do you have your hands full! Working full time, writing, keeping up with a toddler! I do remember that reading kept me sane when my kids were little...a tiny escape from real life.

Thanks for sharing, y'all.

Project Journal said...

Hi Steph!
I'm a high school senior headed to college next year to study Elementary Education/Childhood Development. I read many different genres including any fiction (especially some of my favorite authors, though), mystery/suspense (!!!), horror (sometimes....), romance, Christian lit (mostly Steeple Hill....reading my first Historical, Janet Dean's newest, now and it's AWESOME!).

I guess that's me in a very tiny nutshell!

Stephanie Newton said...

Hi Hannah! My teenage daughter loves to read, too! I'll have to tell her that you liked Janet's book.

Cindy, I'm a fellow pastor's wife and I definitely use reading as an escape, too. There's nothing like a good book--it's way better than TV!

Thanks again for sharing--

Stephanie Newton said...

And the winner according to is.......Cindy.

Cindy, be on the lookout for an email from me tomorrow with LI Contest winner in the subject heading.

If anyone else wants to comment, please do! You won't be eligible for today's book giveaway, but you will be eligible for the big book giveaway at the end of the quarter--and it's always fabulous!


misskallie2000 said...

Congrats Cindy. I am 67 retired and trying to enjoy it. I love romance, with suspense and mystery.

Grandma Juanita said...

Almost finished with Wife Wanted in Dry Creek, by Janet Tronstad, have 2 chapters to go then I am getting ready to rad hometown Princess by Lenora Worth. I have read over 40 books of Love Inspired, have a basket waiting of them, and those above I am working on. I work fulltime, but read at noon at work, breaks, evening while my husband watches C-Span etc. I get blessed and such pleasure reading Love Inspired books.

Stephanie Newton said...

You girls sound like me. I have very eclectic taste, too!

I love the comment about being retired and trying to enjoy it!

Thanks for your input--I'm so enjoying seeing what kind of readers we have here. So far, I think we're a very diverse group!!