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The love boom: why romance novels are the biggest they’ve been for 10 years

The books that might once have been hidden in bedside drawers are flying off the shelves – and young readers are the driving force. How did happy ever after come back in fashion? ‘The world has felt particularly unpredictable for the last few years,” says Emily Henry, a bestselling author of romance fiction. For Henry, these tough times – ever-changing prime ministers and a global pandemic among them – are “exactly why” there has been a boom in romance fiction. With everything else going wrong, she says, readers want their happily ever afters. “When you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, it’s such a gift to pick up a book that you know might put your heart through the wringer but will ultimately turn out OK” she adds. In the UK, sales of romance novels are at their highest since 2012, when Fifty Shades of Grey hit the charts. An estimated 14.3m were sold between January and August this year across print and digital, according to statistics from Nielsen BookData. Sales reached just over 11m for the same period in 2020 and since then there has been a steady year-on-year rise. Continue reading...

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