Who reads romance novels?

This site is for Paperback Divas of all persuasions. But mostly its aimed at romance readers. Although romance novels are still the subject of jokes among a vocal group of people, the fact is that many many people, both men and women, read and enjoy them. Why? I can’t presume to speak for everyone but I believe it’s because sometimes we just want to kick back, get lost in another world, get to know other people. It’s like when you ask someone you know ‘So how did you to get together?’ You know what the end of the story will be–obviously they’re together. But how did they meet? What did they think of one another? What obstacles did they face? What made them know ‘this is the one’? It’s just a little slice of life in an undemanding, safe way.

And obviously a lot of people feel that way. I came across some statistics on the Romance Writers of America website about the genre’s readership.

  • 74.8 million people read at least one romance novel in 2008.
  • The core of the romance fiction market is 29 million regular readers.
  • 24.6 percent of all American read a romance novel in 2008, versus 21.8 percent in 2005.
  • 29 percent of Americans over the age of 13 read a romance novel in 2008.
  • Women make up 90.5 percent of the romance readership, and men make up 9.5 percent.
  • The heart of the U.S. romance novel readership is women aged 31–49 who are currently in a romantic relationship.
  •  Romance readers are more likely than the general population to be currently married or living with a partner.
  • Those aged 31 to 49 are more likely to read romance and comprise 44 percent of the readership.
  •  Geographic Location of Romance Readers –  
    • Midwest: 28.8 percent
    • Northeast: 21.5 percent
    • South: 25.1 percent
    • West: 23.6 percent
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4 thoughts on “Who reads romance novels?

  1. Pingback: Romance Novels VS Porn

  2. I am white, educated, female and 30 years old. I am not in a romantic relationship right now and I have never picked up a Harlequin in my entire adult life…I think the reason I’m reading them now is primarily out of bordem…If I had a boyfriend, lover or husband, I sure wouldn’t be reading these books–I would be doing everything they talk about it those books to him 🙂

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  3. Well fiddlesticks, that last comment disappeared… I find all that very interesting. It’s also interesting to note that I am neither in a relationship nor part of the domineering buying demographic, but I am a regular reader, female, and American.

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