Number Theory


By Kathryn Comment

Reading the latest Book Babes column at, I came across this surprising — or, actually, unfathomable — statistic:

Alas, the fans of serious–i.e., challenging–fiction are a group that figuratively fits in the palm of your hand. John O’Brien, of the Center for Book Culture, told me he thought this band may include no more than 35,000 people nationwide, and they’re concentrated largely around universities. Maybe, on a good day, up to a few hundred thousand.

Readers, is this true? Or, is it the result of an overly strict definition of “serious”?