When I look back at all the romances I’ve read over the years, it seems to me they have changed. No longer do readers want “just” a romantic movie or book where the central theme is a love story and there’s a satisfying end to the story. Most of the time that means “lives happily ever after”.
No, today’s reader wants something extra. Whether it be the amount of heat, that’s in a book or a movie or something suspenseful, today’s romance has a secondary and sometimes a tertiary plot running through the novel. Then there are sub-genre: paranormal, western, Amish, inspirational, contemporary, historical, young adult, erotic or suspense. A veritable smorgasbord to choose from! And each person who romance has a different perspective on what they like or don’t like.
These days the category or series romances are popular. Personally, I love them because some of the same beloved characters show up again in another story! Or sometimes it’s the setting where all the stories take place. It doesn’t matter, readers love them.
While researching what surprised me was the number of men who read them. A whopping 18% of all readers are men. The men I know wouldn’t touch them unless they were being forced to as is the case with my husband who gives me feedback on dialogue. Perhaps men who read them are secure in their own masculinity to do so.
The statistics on the age of readers today were also surprising. I would have thought it would be more baby boomers, but it wasn’t. Very frequent readers were under the age of 34! And only 64% were e-book reader which also surprised me. Personally, I use a service with my iPad mini to read as many as I can in a month for a small monthly fee.
There are other statistics regarding romance readership but these were the most interesting.
Are you surprised by the statistics?