ST. CLOUD -- Central Minnesota's choices in reading materials are bucking a national trend.

A recent survey, U.S. Trends in Arts Attendance and Literary Reading: 2002-2017, was done by the National Endowment for the Arts. According to the survey, adults reading fiction dropped from 45.2 percent in 2012 to 41.8 percent in 2017. Meanwhile, poetry reading has seen an increase in popularity among adults. Poetry reading has gone up from 6.7 percent in 2012 to 11.7 percent last year.

However, here in the St. Cloud metro area, we're seeing the opposite. Abby Faulkner is the communications and development specialist for Great River Regional Library. Faulkner says fiction seems to be more sought after than ever.

"Not only in St. Cloud but actually for the entire system. We track the statistics for all of Great River Regional Library and our circulation. What we're seeing, it's tricky to explain because it involves a lot of numbers and I don't want to confuse people by trying to get into the percentages and statistics. But we are seeing a higher rate of checkouts for fiction, adult fiction, almost twice as much as we're seeing for poetry."

Faulkner says in her opinion the reason fiction could be a favorite for many is that it's advertised so heavily.

"In general fiction gets a lot more attention when it comes to pop culture. If you are going to read a magazine like the New York Times review of books or any other [similar] publication, chances are you are going to learn more about fiction than you're going to learn about new books of poetry."

Great River Regional has 33 library branches in central Minnesota.

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