I am lost in the land of smut

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Okay not really. But kind of. Sort of.

Alright, yes it’s true.

My brain doesn’t want to think anymore it seems. Reading literature is too much work. I want mindless reading, thank you very much. And so, (for quite some time now) I’m hooked on romance novels. Yes I’m freely admitting it here. Smoochy, kissy, steamy there’s-always-a-happy-ending love(r) stories.

Sigh.

I now feel a need to defend myself by explaining I majored in English Literature. I’ve read the likes of Dante, Donne and Shakespeare. I adore Jane Austen (yes, Jane wrote of love and romance but also of Victorian society, its mores, etc.).

I’ll have you know one of my favourite books of all time is Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald. Oh and I recently finished The Night Circus* by Erin Morgenstern (will someone please make a movie based on this book?)

However, I’m a sucker for unrequited love finally fulfilled after misunderstandings are resolved, a painful past forgiven and/or a cruel foe is thwarted.

And it’s not such a bad thing to read smut when it’s centred around romantic love, right? Right.

Did you know? Love is in the air

According to the Romance Writers of America:

  • Romance fiction generated $1.368 billion in sales in 2011
  • From 2007–2011, romance was the second top-performing category (based on consolidated ranking across the NYT, USA Today, and PW best-seller lists)
  • Romance fiction sales are estimated at $1.336 billion for 2012
  • 74.8 million people read at least one romance novel in 2008. (source: RWA Reader Survey)
  • Romance fiction was the largest share of the U.S. consumer market in 2011 at 14.3 percent.

Wow. Oh and get this…while women make up 91% of romance readers…men make up the other 9%. We know you’re out there men…we know.

I’m 50 shades amazed!

Of course I can’t write about romantic fiction and not mention E.L. James best-selling erotica novel. While these stats are UK-based they do demonstrate how rapidly 50 Shades of Gray rose in popularity.

While people either love or hate this book, the sheer number of people who have read it is impressive. It’s also worth noting how freely people talk about it. How many romantic or erotic novels have you seen become “water-cooler conversation”? Not that many.

Check out the complete 50 Shades of Gray infograhic at mediabistro.com. The stats on Ana’s “drinking problem” are pretty funny.

I would say that the increasing adoption of mobile devices and e-readers has contributed at least in part to the surge in sales of romantic and erotic fiction.

For several years now we’ve been given the opportunity to download our romantic fiction fix as e-books. We can read these e-books in public (on the bus, in our doctor’s waiting room, at our fav café, etc.) with no one the wiser about what we’re reading.

Like say the story of one young woman’s journey into bondage, sadism/masochism…and the like…

This site right here is my case in point. These romance novel book covers do nothing but invite mockery.

With cover images like those, of course I’m going to keep my interest in this genre on the down low.

But I’m throwing my sheepish embarrassment aside. Because sometimes you just need to lose yourself in some mindless smoochy-smooch reading. So there. The next time you see me reading an e-book, ask me what I’m reading. We can laugh at the book title (and cover) together.

Now spill it (if you dare). Do you read romance novels? If so, who’s your favourite author?

* I need to acknowledge that Night Circus is a love story. But it’s so much more, and definitely worth reading.

7 Responses to “I am lost in the land of smut”

  1. ayala

    Read whatever makes you happy 🙂 that’s what I say 😉 and romance is good for the heart.
    ayala recently posted..ForgivenessMy Profile

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  2. Neeroc

    I haven’t picked them up recently but I did go on quiet a tear at one point…I couldn’t tell you any of the authors, I’m horrible with that sort of thing (which will also explain why I often have two or three copies of the same book) and really I read them for a quick, enjoyable read.

    If you’re interested and on Goodreads, Angie, from A Whole Lot of Nothing has a Smut Book Club that is an extension of her ‘Kindle of Ill Repute’ series of Smut book reviews – http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/77317-smut-book-club I’ve been stockpiling suggestions from them *G*
    Neeroc recently posted..Friday videos: 80s flashbackMy Profile

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    • Melany Gallant

      I totally am with you on not remembering the authors’ names. The story lines do tend to repeat so I can see what you mean about having multiple copies of the same book – LOL. Thanks for the Smut Book Club info – I’ll definitely check it out!

  3. ingrid

    Ahh yes the mindless romance novel. Coincidentally I have read all three 50 Shades of Gray – shocked my co-workers LOL. Night Circus is on my list to read, thank you for the reminder. My first choice is any historically correct romance. Probably because I didn’t pay much attention in History while in school, that is as good a reason as any to read them. Do you agree? Now that I think about it the majority of my reads have some level of romance in them. My name is Ingrid – I am addicted to romance novels. There I said it. Oh I hope my Kobo is charged and ready to go!

    Reply
    • Melany Gallant

      Mom, I lent Night Circus to Jen. You can read it after she’s done. 🙂

      I like the contemporary romance novel more so than the historical. To each their own, right? As long as we get our fix. 🙂

  4. Tweepwife

    I unabashedly admit to reading mindless romance. I did read the Fifty Shades series but I still like the easy to ready, get lost in the story, feel happy at the end, and read it all quick stuff. I don’t watch TV. At all. So these books are like sitting down to a sitcom or a mindless show. It’s entertainment. I love literature too, and read it as well. I read a lot for work, scholarly work. So when I want to sit down with Danielle Steele, or Nora Roberts, or Maeve Binchy, or Luane Rice, I feel just fine about it. You go girl!!
    Tweepwife recently posted..Once, There were Six Brothers…My Profile

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    • Melany Gallant

      Right on – it’s so obvious from comments like yours on this post that I am not alone. 🙂 I like that I don’t have to think to read these kinds of books. And I am a romantic at heart so I totally love these happy-ending stories.

      p.s. a great book I just finished is On Dublin Street by Samantha Young. 🙂

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