Survey Results

After my initial question to the people I know about what their favourite books are, I decided to create a survey about classic literature to get a better understanding of what people have read.

I shared my survey with my friends and they shared it with people they know, my mum sent it around her work so I’d have responses from a variety of ages and backgrounds.

In the end I got 48 responses which I thought was a good mix.


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I decided against asking for personal information such as age, gender, ethnicity, etc. on my survey because I wanted to gather general public opinion and didn’t want these categories to affect the way I saw the results. I wanted it to be based on people’s opinions and not judged by their age or gender.

Question 1

I thought that almost all of these books were very well known so I was surprised at the difference between how many people had read them. I noticed that the ones that are the most read have all been on the school curriculum at some point. I studied Lord of the Flies and Of Mice and Men in school so I expected all respondents my age to tick them as they were mandatory for English GCSE.

I was surprised how few people said they’d read Moby Dick. It’s always been one I thought lots of people had read so I thought more of my respondents would have. This could be one to focus on because it’s one that I love immensely that few people, according to my results, have read.

There wasn’t a single book on my list that was unread which I thought interesting. Even the books I considered lesser known are still being read.

Question 2

45.83% of respondents said they enjoyed all of the classics they had read and 52.08% said they enjoyed some of them. I think this is a promising statistic because it may mean that my target audience is more open to reading the books I’m making than I originally thought.

Not a single respondent said they enjoyed none of the books which means that if I create a variety of books, it is highly likely that the people I show them to will like at least one.

Question 3

Many people say they don’t have the time to read more of these books. As this has come up as a common problem, it will be one of the ones I will try to find a solution to in my work. I think because we all live such busy lives and a lot of these books are very big, the more engaging a book is, the more likely you are to want to read it and get back to it ASAP.

Question 4

Many people say they would like to read more so they are potential people I could reach with my work. I know, personally, when I see a book that I’ve been wanting for a while with a really nice cover or bind, it can be the tipping point to me buying it.

Question 5

Having more time came up again in this question fairly often so it’s definitely going to be something to keep in mind during this project.

Question 6

Almost everyone had a different idea on what made a book a classic. The three factors most said were good writing, a compelling story that can reach a wide audience and it’s still relevant. I think that it’s a mix of these and many more that make a book a classic, if it were these three factors alone, there would be a lot more books regarded as classics.

Question 7

I left many books out of question 1 to see how many people would pick up on it and what they thought of the list I had created. The majority of books on the list were American or English and a lot of children’s literature was left out. I also left out things like Harry Potter that have only been called classics recently.

I think this worked very well because many respondents gave me a list of the ones I thought I’d left out and some of them I’d never even heard of. This helped to expand my definition of classics and made me realise that I will have to only focus on a few books.

There were a few respondents who didn’t think I’d missed any so they are people I could potentially reach with classics they haven’t heard of.

How to cut these books down to only a few is something I’m going to have to think carefully about. I need to think about why I want people to read these books and whether I should bring attention to the lesser know classics or classics that aren’t English or American.


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