Goodreads Blog

Do You Live in the Twilight Belt? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Patrick on November 18, 2011 175283



There is no more divisive book on Goodreads than Twilight. It manages to top both our Best Books Ever and Worst Books of All Time lists. And now, surprisingly, we've discovered that where you live can indicate whether you're a Twi-Hard or not.

With the release of the film adaption of Breaking Dawn (well, the first half of the film adaptation), we thought it might be fun to dive into some more of the incredible trove of data we have on the Twilight Saga and its readers.

A map of what each state thinks of Twilight ends up looking a lot like a map of the most recent election results. On the map above, the readers in the red states rated the book highly (the darker the red, the higher the rating), while readers in the blue states gave it a lower rating). The Midwest and the South represent The Twilight Belt, while the coasts were decidedly less impressed with the book.

Reviews were mostly distributed according to population, with the notable exception of Utah. Utah is the 34th most populous state in the US, but it generates the 6th most reviews of Twilight. In terms of cities, Salt Lake City—the 125th largest city in the country—is second only to New York in number of Twilight reviews. Opinion on the book is split in the Beehive state, with the average rating a pedestrian 3.64.

Not surprisingly, the Twilight books also split along gender lines. Women were twelve times as likely as men to review Twilight on Goodreads -- we have 573,797 ratings by women and only 46,554 by men. Women were also more likely to have liked the book, giving it an average rating of 3.77 stars, whereas men were, well, not so happy with it, rating it 2.94 stars.

As the Boston Globe recently noted, young adult books have broken out big with readers of all ages, and Twilight is no different. In fact, as many 28, 29, and 30-year-olds read the book as 15, 16, and 17-year-olds. If you're on Goodreads and you're not young, chances are good that you're young at heart.


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Comments (showing 1-44 of 44) (44 new)

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message 1: by Erin (last edited Nov 18, 2011 06:49AM) (new)

Erin "If you're on Goodreads and your not young, chances are good that you're young at heart."

sigh


message 2: by Brittany (new)

Brittany I believe it should read.. "If you're on Goodreads and *you're not young.."


message 3: by Tim (new)

Tim Mckinstry Erin wrote: ""If you're on Goodreads and your not young, chances are good that you're young at heart."

sigh"


No need to be condescending. Brittany put it nicer.


message 4: by UnconsciousPlots (last edited Nov 18, 2011 08:18AM) (new)

UnconsciousPlots *laughs* Now we need an analysis of the grammar Nazis on goodreads.

Oh, it irked me too, but I think it's funny the typo is the subject of the first two comments. Now three.


Nicoleontheread I made an account just to point that out, but Kathrine beat me to it!


message 6: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Brown Fixed! Thanks, guys!


message 7: by Erin (new)

Erin Tim wrote: "Erin wrote: ""If you're on Goodreads and your not young, chances are good that you're young at heart."

sigh"

No need to be condescending. Brittany put it nicer."


Given the author used it correctly two out of three times in the sentence, it is a sigh-worthy (and bizarre) error. Nevertheless, cheers to nice Brittany.

Kathrine, let's ask GoodReads to map grammar-conscientiousness as it relates to love of Twilight. That would be funny!


message 8: by Mari (new)

Mari Erin wrote: ""If you're on Goodreads and your not young, chances are good that you're young at heart."

sigh"


Brava!


message 9: by Vicki (new)

Vicki I think the author had it right all 3 times. Replace the contraction with the full words: "If YOU ARE on GoodReads, and YOU ARE not young, chances are good that YOU ARE young at heart."


message 10: by PBnJ (new)

PBnJ Young @ heart... or just a lazy reader? Seriously, I don't understand the large number of adults that only read Young Adult books. I've read and enjoyed a number of YA books, as an adult, but for that to be the majority (or entirety) of your reading?


message 11: by Erin (new)

Erin Vicki wrote: "I think the author had it right all 3 times. Replace the contraction with the full words: "If YOU ARE on GoodReads, and YOU ARE not young, chances are good that YOU ARE young at heart.""

He fixed his error. It's all good now so commence to trashing Twilight. :-)


message 12: by UnconsciousPlots (new)

UnconsciousPlots Everyone gets kudos for spelling my name correctly. Lots of people spell it KatHERine instead of KatHRine.

And I agree that would be hilarious, Erin! Maybe the reason we're all talking about the typo is because Twilight's typos have completely removed the books from our minds' lists of mention-worthy topics.

Vicki, it has been fixed. Now it is correct.


message 13: by Brittany (new)

Brittany Nikki wrote: "Young @ heart... or just a lazy reader? Seriously, I don't understand the large number of adults that only read Young Adult books. I've read and enjoyed a number of YA books, as an adult, but for..."

For the longest time, I only read nonfiction (historical, feminist, Chuck Klosterman, etc). But YA is almost always an easier, quicker read. Something I can pick up and put down and walk away from to finish laundry or get a chapter in on my lunch break. And it's a nice way to escape all the things about being an adult that suck (no one has to stress about paying taxes or how bad the economy is, etc). I still read for-adult books and nonfiction (currently working on In The Garden of Beasts -- highly recommend it!), but I completely see the allure of not-so-YA people reading YA. That being said, there are so many better YA books out there than Twilight!


message 14: by UnconsciousPlots (new)

UnconsciousPlots "I don't understand the large number of adults that only read Young Adult books. I've read and enjoyed a number of YA books, as an adult, but for that to be the majority (or entirety) of your reading?" ~ Nikki

Technically, it's a good idea for everyone to read widely. In genres targeted at them, out of genres targeted at them, whatever. However, it might be worthy to mention that the industry is now very aware that adults enjoy "YA." I'm sure they target adults some since adults are now a large part of their market.

This could turn into a "what makes YA YA" discussion...


message 15: by PSL9 (new)

PSL9 so funny...the comments are the best, too!


message 16: by Laurette (new)

Laurette I have noticed the huge adult YA obsession lately. I do read them myself somewhat often, reading one right now in fact. They're quick, easy reads, and since I don't always have much reading time that works well for me. They often have great stories that do cater to adults fairly nicely. I wouldn't want to read them exclusively, but if someone does, that's fine. If that's what they like, they should read what makes them happy. :)

I've yet to actually read Twilight though. I want to out of curiosity even though it doesn't sound that appealing to me. I'll get around to it at some point.


message 17: by Brianne (new)

Brianne Jeffrey The question is, how closely does this correlate with red/blue states politically? Any relation to religious affiliation and/or educational levels? Just curious..


message 18: by Kate (new)

Kate I'm embarrassed to live in Utah ;-)


message 19: by Kiirsi (new)

Kiirsi Hellewell I read YA/MG books pretty much exclusively. (Some non-fiction as well.) Adult fiction that I've tried is mostly boring, depressing, and full of sex and bad language. I don't feel the need to fill my mind with that stuff. :)


message 20: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca Fascinating. It actually does largely look like a political red state/blue state map. Blue in New England, the Mid-Atlantic, around the Great Lakes, and on the West Coast. Red most other places.

Never read the books, myself. I'm not fond of modern YA books.


message 21: by Perelandra (new)

Perelandra I can say what I am about to say because I have lived in the south my whole life. What does this say about education and literary appreciation in the south when Twilight is held in such high regard here? I read it and brain cells died a slow and nasty death. Not only is it terrible writing, it promotes terrible ideas among young women, namely that its romantic for a possessive 100+ year old dude that looks young and grey and sparkly to come onto you (and stalk you).


message 22: by Kelsey Paige (last edited Nov 18, 2011 02:57PM) (new)

Kelsey Paige I mostly stick to YA and children's fiction. Though I occasionally delve into adult, I'm more selective with my reading (I agree with Kiirsi there).
It's kind of funny, because I live in Ohio: I have four sisters and a 55-year-old mom who love Twilight (if on varying levels), and a large portion of our friends and acquaintances in the area enjoy it as well--and we're conservative Christians. So, not all of Ohio is blue. :P Of course, I think religious views have their play in it; we've heard a couple of people denouncing the Twilight saga as "demonic"--but usually this came from speakers who haven't even read the books.


message 23: by Perelandra (new)

Perelandra Kelsey Paige wrote: "I mostly stick to YA and children's fiction. Though I occasionally delve into adult, I'm more selective with my reading (I agree with Kiirsi there).
It's kind of funny, because I live in Ohio: I ha..."


How do you reconcile being conservative Christians and not recognizing that vampire lore has, its its core, a demonically inspired seed? A vampire feeds on the blood of others to remain immortal while Christ gave his blood so Christians can become immortal. They are diametrically opposed and I think you do your Jesus a disservice to not proclaim him First before men.


message 24: by Tim (new)

Tim Mckinstry Tre wrote: "How do you reconcile being conservative Christians and not recognizing that vampire lore has, its its core, a demonically inspired seed? A vampire feeds on the blood of others to remain immortal while Christ gave his blood so Christians can become immortal. They are diametrically opposed and I think you do your Jesus a disservice to not proclaim him First before men. "

So should I close my eyes to all mythology because it may be connected to other / older religions?

You can recognize that vampire lore has, at its core, a "demonic seed" (I don't know if it does or it doesn't) and still read the Twilight series, enjoying the books for what they are. The author didn't sit down and write an evil book just because it contains vampires.

I have yet to read the books though.


message 25: by Annalisa (new)

Annalisa As much as I love seeing Utah on the not-so-loving side of Twilight, I think Utah is the definitely in the Twilight belt. If you've ever been to one of the movie premieres and seen the crazy, screaming fans dressed in wedding attire you'd be embarrassed. The craze started here. The numbers alone, despite the ratings, say something. Most of those Twilight fans just aren't on goodreads. Too bad. Maybe they'd find something decent to read instead.


message 26: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Lemoine Didn't think I would like Twilight. Couldn't sleep one night, so I picked it up hoping it would help me fall asleep. I read all four books in one week. My neighbor is 65 years young. She read them after I did and enjoyed them also.


message 27: by Kris (new)

Kris You people need lives


message 28: by Rpopstar (new)

Rpopstar "The Midwest and the South represent The Twilight Belt."

depends on how you define "the midwest"...there's only three red states in the region: in, ia and mo.....i'd note that oh, il, mi, wi, and mi are all blue on your map....

i'd describe the bright red belt as the great plains and the deep south


message 29: by Virginia (new)

Virginia Hill I believe that without readers' hugely varying opinions on literary works we wouldn't have the amazing variety to choose from that we do. Knowing what we like to read doesn't mean we can't be surprised. I LIKE being surprised. I was by Twilight. I'm still astounded by how venomous people get over the series. Goodness gracious.


message 30: by Aleks (new)

Aleks The same people who liked George W Bush and Sarah Palin are also impressed by Stephanie Meyers. This is shocking, shocking.


message 31: by Peat (new)

Peat I'm confused--the text on the infographic indicates that Utah is one of the states where Twilight is popular, but the explanation says that Twilight popularity is indicated by the color red--Utah is colored blue. Which is it? Maybe more people in Utah read it, but not so many of them liked it?


message 32: by Aleks (new)

Aleks Peat wrote: "I'm confused--the text on the infographic indicates that Utah is one of the states where Twilight is popular, but the explanation says that Twilight popularity is indicated by the color red--Utah i..."

Yes. In Utah Twilight is common but unliked.


message 33: by Kimathy (new)

Kimathy Happy that my state is only pink. Ugh, I wouldn't be able to stand more Twitards in my area. There are so many already!


message 34: by David (new)

David Peck I have been a middle school language arts teacher for two decades, and I have read "Twilight." Not because I wanted to, but because it is a good idea to be familiar with what your students are reading. The whole book took me about an hour to wade through.

Here is my review:

After walking into a Barnes & Noble and perusing all of the offerings on the Young Adult shelves, choosing to purchase a copy of Twilight is like walking into a five-star restaurant and choosing to dine on the urinal cake from the men's room.


message 35: by Andrea (last edited Nov 22, 2011 10:41AM) (new)

Andrea Annalisa wrote: "As much as I love seeing Utah on the not-so-loving side of Twilight, I think Utah is the definitely in the Twilight belt. If you've ever been to one of the movie premieres and seen the crazy, screa..."

Good thoughts. Of course Twilight-ites from Utah aren't on good reads. The only book they've read in the last decade IS Twilight so why would this site even remotely appeal to anyone who actually LIKED it? It's because they've not read anything to compare it with.

Last, though the idea is creative, the themes it espouses are true blue Utah culturally propagated. Shun college, find a possessive rich man, and get pregnant by the time you're 18. College? Travel? Other things in life besides having a boyfriend? What is this blasphemy?!? Thanks Meyer, for influencing so many of our young women and spreading the idea that the most important thing in life before you hit age 20 is to find a boyfriend and get married and have a baby. If you do that, you don't need an education, life experiences, or a desire to experience new ideas and cultures.


message 36: by David (last edited Nov 22, 2011 10:45AM) (new)

David Peck Well, Twilight has always been in lock-step line with Mormon doctrine and dogma, right down to the "white and delightsome" vampire hunks and the whole meme of Bella being "called" into the select ranks of the vampires by her husband.

Overheard this from two of my 8th grade girls in the hallway: "I swear, you run into a buncha guys with shaved chests and no shirts hanging out in the middle of the woods together, they AIN'T interested in you, girl."


message 37: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Well and if I may clarify - it is not doctrine but in fact culturally propagated behavior that has been connected with Mormonism I find frustrating. The doctrine and the culture that has spawned from it are not mirrors of each other. Not in the slightest in most instances. And I find that the biggest misconception of a religious belief - culture vs. actual doctrine. If one were to actually research the Churches statements on education, families, and women, and the doctrine supplementing those topics - you would find something much more "liberal" (if I may be so bold in using such a term) than what is seen throughout the "culture" lens of Utah. Meyer reinforces a stereotype of Mormon lifestyle that many Mormons throughout "other" parts of Utah (parts of SLC mainly) and the greater United States/World do not subscribe to - me being one of them as a 28 year old single LDS female with a Master's degree and very happy to be such. I just wish there were more women within that "cultural confine" that would demonstrate that. Instead, we get a massively soap opera-esque book written by a LDS BYU grad that sets any strides LDS women have made (and the Church has made to disprove such stereotypes)to demonstrate a greater breadth of diversity, intelligence, and responsibility, back 100 fold.


message 38: by Aleks (new)

Aleks Well said, Andrea.


message 39: by Aubrey (new)

Aubrey Brianne wrote: "The question is, how closely does this correlate with red/blue states politically? Any relation to religious affiliation and/or educational levels? Just curious.."

That was exactly what I was thinking. I noticed that a lot of the democratic states didn't care for it as much and the republic states did.


message 40: by Dustin (new)

Dustin I like how everybody is over-analyzing Utah's disproportionate reading of Twilight. Stephenie Meyer went to college and lived in Utah; she's Mormon so other Mormons like to support when one of their own is doing so well. It's not at all surprising that Twilight Mania started there.
News flash: Mitt Romney is big in Utah too. Shocking I know...


message 41: by Aleks (new)

Aleks Dustin wrote: "I like how everybody is over-analyzing Utah's disproportionate reading of Twilight. Stephenie Meyer went to college and lived in Utah; she's Mormon so other Mormons like to support when one of the..."

I applaud your ability to state the obvious with confidence and authority.


message 42: by Aleks (new)

Aleks Laurette wrote: "I have noticed the huge adult YA obsession lately. I do read them myself somewhat often, reading one right now in fact. They're quick, easy reads, and since I don't always have much reading time th..."

The best YA book I've read in years was Kenneth Oppel's "Airborn."


message 43: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Buike I actually just wrote a blog post today about the love/hate relationship that goes with the Twilight Series: http://authorjess.blogspot.com/2012/0...


message 44: by Mifalda (new)

Mifalda Phew! I was worried Colorado would be in this belt, thank goodness we are not!


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