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When looking at romance books by the numbers, the obvious becomes even more so. The genre is huge and continues to grow. As with any variety of story, tastes change to reflect the times. Innocent wallflowers who blossom under the touch of an experienced man still abound, but plenty of take-charge women dominate this wildly popular genre.

 

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to add some fuel to the romantic consumer-driven frenzy and post this infographic for discussion. As I’ve edited more romance books, it grows more clear how varied the genre can be. I do try to read widely, but no matter the genre, I’ll always be a sucker for well-crafted prose. Once an editor, always an editor. And gasp! The more I’ve delved into the world of self-publishing and the proof of romance books by the numbers, I’ve even found myself entertaining notions of trying my hand at writing romance. The thought makes me chuckle because I am also equally drawn to writing darker, more psychological fiction as well.

 

The quest for love in all its incarnations will never grow old.

 

Infographic about romance novels

 

The rise of e-books does indeed make it easier to take that steamy book with you to read during your commute or sneak in a few pages at lunch since there’s no worry of someone spying a sexy cover splayed in your hands. The depth of such stories run the gamut from fluffy romps to serious affairs. Even though I readily decried the content and quality of writing in Fifty Shades of Gray, there’s no denying any book that gets a huge segment of the population to start exploring their sexuality more and also encourages them to talk about it more openly, is doing something right.

 

What types of romance books have you read? What other reasons help explain the genre’s popularity? 

 

The Evolution of the Romance Novel infographic showcased here originally appeared on the PBS website.