Romance Reading Really Rocks

Article | Issue: Mar 2023

Romance is one of the most popular genre of books worldwide. It’s a category that in the past has been a little maligned by the literary world.


Romance readers are smart and voracious readers, coming from all walks of life. The biggest cohort of readers are mainly those aged between 18 and 34. While that may be the case now, there are also many older readers and teenagers that enjoy a good romance.

In the last century the romance genre was dominated by Mills and Boon and some stand-out authors in the like of Georgette Heyer, Julie Garland, Barbara Cartland, Danielle Steel, Nora Roberts and Julia Quinn. Although, not all bestselling romance writers are women. Look at the huge success of Nicholas Sparks.

Romance has in the past been the book of choice for women, but more and more men are enjoying the genre. According to Romance Writers of America, around 18 per cent of romance readers are men.

Today there is a wide choice of authors to choose from with authors from Down Under flying the flag high including Fiona Palmer, Rachael Johns, Tricia Stringer, Jodi McAlister, Soraya Lane, Fiona McCallum, Fleur McDonald and Victoria Purman.

Within the romance genre there are loads of sub genres to satisfy your inner romantic. One online survey discovered a big range of tropes that romance readers like; when enemies become lovers, childhood friends, second chances, breaking boundaries and social class, and forbidden love. But there are also paranormal romances, mystery/crime romances, to LGBTQI+ stories. The list goes on and on. But what makes romance so popular?

The reasons are varied but some include living vicariously through the characters, for the escape, a bit of bedroom spice or power of suggestion. No doubt, it’s a genre that typically guarantees you a happy ending. They are fun, enjoyable reads and that’s often just what you need.

Which books have stood above others in sales? ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ by E L James is the bestselling romance series of all time, selling over 150 million copies worldwide. No surprises that Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen comes in as the top novel with 120 million copies sold worldwide. The number of books published must go to Nora Roberts with more than 225 romance novels.

Who’s the biggest romance writer of the moment? Colleen Hoover of course. There’s good news for fans with It Ends With Us being adapted into a film starring Blake Lively and Justin Baldoni.

Other popular authors in the genre include the likes of Sarah J Maas (read an article here) and Sally Thorne.

Rest assured, the demand for the romance genre will continue to rise. Romance readers are a large and loyal community, and once they find an author they like, they rally behind them.



The Rom-Com Agenda   Things We hide From he Light by Lucy Score   Dear Lover by Samuel Johnson

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas   A Court of Thorns and Roses


Author: Samuel Johnson

Category: Biography & True Stories

Book Format: Hardback

Publisher: Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780733649806

RRP: $24.99

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