Monday, May 28, 2012

Hiding What You Read


Every once in a while, you read a news story and it makes you chuckle. Such was the case when I read, "Books Women Read When No One Can See the Cover," by Katherine Rosman. This article appeared in the Wednesday, March 14, 2012 edition of The Wall Street Journal.

According to Rosman, the privacy provided by electronic readers has resulted in a boom in sales of sexy romance novels (romantica). I have to admit, I hadn't heard the term "romantica" until this article. Shows you how much I follow what's going on in the romance genre. Rosman says these novels contain the love story and pop culture references found in "chick lit," but they contain a lot of s-e-x. Unlike erotic novels, however, they always have a happily ever after.

A married mother from Florida, who was interviewed for this article, reads 10 to 15 books a week, with about half of those books being erotic titles. She says she wouldn't read these books if they were in print because some of the covers are explicit.

The ease of downloading is also said to be a factor in the growth of erotic titles. Rosman says romance fans were some of the early adopters of e-reading. Kelly Gallagher, vice president of Bowker Market Research, states nearly 40% of all new romance books purchased are in digital form. I didn't find that to be a huge surprise. At this point, my digital book "To Be Read" collection surpasses the number of printed books I have to review.

What the article does not address is the sheer number of free digital titles available. As a reader, I love them. The romance genre appears quite often in the lists of free titles I receive. How does this skew the numbers? I don't know, but I can say there are more free titles available than I could ever hope to read.

Do you find yourself reading more romance novels thanks to your device? Are you willing to explore genres you haven't in the past thanks to the privacy your e-reader provides?

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