The thread “Fee Fi Fo Fum. . .” drifted from the meaning of these nonsense syllables in Jack and the Beanstock, and other stuff in this and the rest of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, over to fairy tales and nursery rhymes in general and then to fiction in general.
Thereafter, I made the following claim:
This greatly upset our fiction-reading sector of posters to this forum, and some further correlations I suggested existed, of fiction’s and fiction readers’ negative effects on society, riled them up further, getting all kinds of epithets against me and defenses against their personal blame for any such effects, in the form of a listing of one of them’s normal daily routine, etc. It all got quite hilarious, but in particular, I was accused of not presenting hard evidence of the statement in the above quote, although no one else presented hard evidence of the contrary. I checked the Web and found certain intimations and other indications, but no authoritative numerical evidence of my claim. Later in the Fee-fi thread I backed off on this statement as it should apply to women. Most of the opposition to this claim of mine were women.
So, I post this new thread directly on this specific (but broad) question, in any of its variants – w/ or w/o the “seldom”, as to people in general or just to males or just to females, as to only the US population or to the world’s or that of other individual countries. Maybe someone else here has some at-least-somewhat authoritative figures on this question or possibly related ones, such as the relative number of books of fiction vs. nonfiction sold, loaned from libraries, etc. I’d include all books sold as nonfiction – which turn out to be, in great part fiction (as I understand the current “Dutch” is see to be) – in the the nonfiction group. Answers to these related questions, however, wouldn’t answer to the issue of the above quote.