Culture & Entertainment

Romance novels: Still a great escape

By: Simone Castello
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Romance novels: Still a great escape

By: Simone Castello
A recent dive into the publishing world noted that the romance novel industry is still thriving and on top of the literary market at $1.4 billion. And with good reason -- women still enjoy their bodice rippers, though now, mostly as ebooks. It's estimated that 60 percent of romance novels now come out as ebooks, compared to their other literary cousins. A recent NPR interview with Harper's editor Jesse Barron stated the reason for this being that romance novels are easy to turn around for authors who write them. They are formulaic and follow a similar arc, so they're the cheapest to turn into ebooks. I read another piece on NPR -- In defense of romance novels --  by an author named Bobbi, who revealed that she started reading them at the age of 12. (About the same time this relationships editor got her hands on a Harlequin, as well.) She discusses how  Pride and Prejudice is, in its own right, an epic romance -- not just a literary masterpiece. It may not be a Harlequin, with the built in sexy sexy, but the banter between the protagonists, the ebb and flow of emotions and the happily ever after at the end, all make for a great love story. It seems readers of romance novels long for the predictability of the the arc -- the meet-cute, the joy from the meet-cute, the crisis after the meet-cute, the chaos after the crisis, the solution after the chaos, and, finally,  the love. And not surprisingly, stats also showed that women make up 90-95 percent of readers who purchase romance novels. And why not? They are, after all, a great escape from reality, even if only temporarily. So go ahead, ladies -- enjoy your bodice rippers! Image courtesy of infinitegarage/FlickrCC
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Culture & Entertainment

Romance novels: Still a great escape

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