Americans Really Love Gone With The Wind, Apparently

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gwtwopenerPhoto: Courtesy of Scribner.
A new survey on reading preferences by Harris Interactive reveals that this vast nation sure does love its classics.

Unsurprisingly, the poll of 2,234 U.S. adults found that Americans still cherish the Bible as their favorite book, just as they did in the same poll in 2008. (Just ahead of the Quran and Quotations from Chairman Mao, it's the world's best-selling book.)

The overall second-place favorite, however, is Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 opus Gone with the Wind, which also took the number-two spot in 2008. Broken down by demographic, the book is apparently beloved by Republicans, Democrats, Independents, baby boomers, high school dropouts, and college graduates alike. Men, however, preferred The Lord of the Rings, African Americans liked Moby Dick, Hispanics were partial to The Great Gatsby.

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series swapped places with the Lord of the Rings series, coming in third and fourth, respectively. Liberals and post-grads named them as favorites over Mitchell's novel.

More interesting is what's absent from the top 10: Stephen King's The Stand, Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons, and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. In their place were Moby Dick, Little Women, The Grapes of Wrath, and The Great Gatsby. It seems that horror, religious thrillers, and ethical egoism just don't have the sway they used to. Here's the full top 10:

1. The Bible
2. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
3. Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
4. The Lord of the Rings (series) by J.R.R. Tolkien
5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
6. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
7. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
9. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
10. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

(Harris Interactive)