Thursday, October 27, 2016

Romance Reader - Desperate, Lonley, Stupid?

I thought all you romance readers out there might enjoy this.  These are two myths from the Huffington Post - Who Is the Romance Novel Reader?
05/07/2015 03:59 pm ET | Updated May 07, 2016

The first myth: The romance reader is likely to be a desperate housewife, lonely spinster or sorority sister.
Quit chuckling.

The fact is: Contrary to popular perception, women do not make up 150% of romance readers. According to survey results from Romance Writers of America, 84 percent of romance readers are women and 16 percent are men — up from 9 percent a few years ago.

While 70% of romance readers discover the genre between the ages of 11 and 18, most romance readers tend to be older (the average age range is from 30 and 54 years-old.) She’s also likely to be coupled up and has an average income of $55,000 per year.

The romance industry is large — more than half of the mass market paperbacks sold in the U.S. are romance — and it’s readership is vast as well. So for every desperate housewife, there’s a happily harried wife and/or mom taking a break with a romance novel. For every lonely spinster, there’s an unapologetic single woman. And for every sorority sister, there’s a proud geek girl who loves romance novels.

The next myth: Romance readers are stupid.                                               
Okay, now, you’re ROFL.
The fact is: There’s a sense that romance novels are stupid books for stupid people. The non-romance readers I surveyed thought romance readers were less likely to have an advance degree than romance readers reported having attained. But the idea that women’s fiction was frivolous and the readers were foolish goes way back to the 18th and 19th centuries, when the novel was gaining popularity and women were gaining literacy. General impressions of women’s intelligence were hardly flattering, probably because no one thought to give girls an education. This is just an old, leftover association that is hardly relevant these days — isn’t stupid to keep perpetuating it?
I may post a few more of these next week.



  1. Why do they continue to push this? Women aren't dumb to read romance novels. We are educated, some with PHD's and even those of us who write them have education and degrees...

    1. I think it's a certain group that keep pushing it. Those that still think they're 'bodice rippers'. :)

  2. Interesting article. So true, Melissa, I agree. I know you're a school teacher and I was at one time, but retired now, so how dumb does that make us?

    1. They did repudiate this myth saying it dated back to the 18th and 19th century. So I guess there's a lot of people out there still living in that time period - not sure what they're reading.

  3. Add me to the mix - college educated, entrepreneur and owner of three businesses, grandmother, married, and a US Veteran. Thanks for sharing this information.

  4. Sounds like a typical romance reader to me. :)Thanks Kayelle.