There are certain questions you should never ask a woman. How much do you weigh? How much do you earn? How many sexual partners have you had? But there’s one question which trumps them all on the cringe-o-metre, ‘What are you reading right now?’
In an ideal world our bedside table would hold a pile of classic literature and past and present booker winners. Sadly, however, it’s not always the case. Katie Price’s autobiography was a gift, we just never got round to refunding… really!
Now, thanks to E-books, it’s even easier to hide our underground reading habits. It seems we’re all secret romantics at heart as, since the Sony Reader hit the market, sales of Mill’s & Boon novels have soared by almost 60 per cent. According to the publisher, online readers are opting for their raunchier reads – books from their ‘spice’ category (billed as ‘hot line-up of sexual and sensual stories for discerning women’) are the most frequently downloaded.
'It's interesting to see just how many younger 30-something Mills & Boon readers there are,’ said Hazel Powell, commercial manager for books at Tesco, ‘Bashful customers prefer to use e-readers so they can access stories privately. However, there is no reason why reading Mills & Boon should have to be a guilty pleasure.'
Fess’ up, are you a secret Mills & Boon addict? And is it so surprising that, in the recession, women are escaping into a fantasy world of nurturing heroes, true love and happy endings?
- Amy Molloy