LONDON, April 13 (UPI) -- A list of the top 100 books written since 1982 shows male writers outpaced female authors, a staff survey at Waterstone's, Britain's largest book chain, said.
The list of international authors is a who's who of modern literature: from Italy's Umberto Eco to Britain's Robert Harris to American-born Bill Bryson, and from Canada's Margaret Atwood to Britain's Zadie Smith and China's Jung Chang, The Daily Telegraph said Friday.
The bookstore selected 1982 as the starting point for its list because that was the year it the store founded. The chain polled the staff as part of its silver anniversary celebration.
Company officials were at a loss to explain the overwhelming number of men who made the list.
Company spokesman Jon Howells suggested reading habits could have dictated the difference. Men, he theorized, preferred books written by men while women weren't influenced by the sex of an author.
"Women read more than men -- the core customer is a woman age between 35 and 55," Howells said. "(But) what they read is right across the board, chick lit, crime fiction, biographies, heavyweight novels, and they don't care about the gender of the author."