Monday 11 February 2013

The Romance Novel

Is Romance Really Dead?  Not even close.  Just look at the statistics in this article from USA Today.  As the article states, while other genres have struggled, the romance novel has remained a steady performer in the book business.

When Canadian Richard Bonnycastle started  Harlequin Enterprises in 1949 they consisted of paperback westerns, mysteries and cookbooks.  In 1957 he began to acquire rights from a British publisher of romance fiction.   His wife Mary, noticing how enormously popular these books were, suggested they concentrate on them.  Fast forward to 1964 and Harlequin was publishing romance exclusively.

Nowadays Harlequin is only one of many names in this business and the Romance Writers of America advertise it as a 1.3 Billion Dollar industry.  Romance writing is certainly not to be taken lightly.  It is amazingly diverse with an impressive list of sub genres such as:

Contemporary romance
Historical romance                                 
Romantic suspense                                                     
Paranormal romance
Science Fiction romance
Fantasy romance
Time-travel romances
Inspirational romance
Multicultural romance
Western romance
Erotic romance

This winning formula follows very basic guidelines that provide the comfort of knowing that no matter the dangers, temptations, misunderstandings and crises these characters endure, there will be a happy ending. The journey of how they get there is the backbone of the story.

Whether you want to escape on the arms of a Highlander, Cowboy, Vampire, or Duke, the library is here to help you find them.  With Valentines Day approaching perhaps this would be a good time for all the significant others out there to try out a romance novel.  It is never too late to pick up a romantic tip or two and with numbers like this somebody must be doing something right.

--Patricia Milner, Head of Reference

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