Why do I not read Dutch books?

Sometimes I have to explain to people that I feel more comfortable reading books in English than in Dutch. Almost always they wonder why, even those who know that I studied English Language & Literature at University.


I usually reply by saying that more books published in English than in Dutch means more books I will enjoy. Finally found the theory behind my regular answer today: Sturgeon’s Law.

(as copied from wikipedia)

Sturgeon’s revelation, commonly referred to as Sturgeon’s law, is an adage commonly cited as “ninety percent of everything is crap.”

If ninety percent of everything (for instance, Dutch literature versus English literature) is crap, then it stands that the remaining ten percent is great. There are more books written in the English language than in the Dutch language, so the chance of me finding something I enjoy reading is larger in English literature than in Dutch literature.

How much great literature am I missing out on?

(Mind you, literature sounds very grand and impressive, but if you replace it by romance/detective books, it is a better reflection of my actual reading habits!)

Cover image: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Beschrijving van het verblijf van Willem IV te Breda, 1737, anoniem, 1737 [link]