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Artificial for the People
When Love & Diamonds used to be Forever
Romance genre has consistently been the highest selling category of books for people buying fiction novels. Irrespective of whether women or men are buying these, clearly, it is not the cover alone helping sell millions of romance novels, every quarter, all over the world. It is a distinct product from tabloids and rags.
As many as 200 million Mills & Boon novels were sold annually worldwide as of 2008. A dozen years since, Amazon has sold romance genre books worth $1.44 billion, with 19 million printed units sold in 12 months leading to August 2022. There was a 36% increase in sale of printed copies of romance novels on Amazon in 2022 compared to previous year. So, it’s not just e-books!
Trivia? Officially, no male author has written a Mills & Boon novel, but it is anybody’s guess how many prolific female authors were encouraged to get published in the paternalistic society since 1908, the year when two men founded the ‘general fiction publisher’. It began a focus on Romance genre in 1930s after change of ownership and realization of market for escapism during the Depression Era. (And dawn of all the wonderful superhero comic strips).
Hey, now we have 3-D video-games and binge-watching to resolve escapist desires.
Like all the other popular genre fiction novels, romance is also divided into sub-genres and cross-genre books. Anything from:
‘Heat Wave’ by fictional author Richard Castle, a police procedural featuring a detective with a budding love interest that she denies (refer Castle TV series),
to ‘Honeymoon’ by James Patterson, a thriller featuring a female serial killer who is a polygamist (it’s not a spoiler, just the immediate setting of the novel as unveiled in second chapter),
or ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ by Seth Grahame-Smith, a romance set amidst zombies.
As you can guess, there is not much unsaid or unwritten regarding the relationship between a man and a woman— or between other genders of your choice of alphabets and pronouns. From Shakespeare’s writings to artwork such as ‘Mona Lisa’ or ‘Birth of Venus’, fascination and obsession with beauty and youth is an evergreen muse for creator and consumer.
It is all so predictable and even planned that it is not automatic nor natural, it all seems artificial. A person may love someone while being more at ease with the friend-zoned person. There is boyfriend-material men and husband-material men to sort and label and pursue or ponder. There is a girl for a fling, vis-a-vis a soulmate since decades, amidst a woman worthy of bearing your children. Combinations, speculations, confusions and first ‘hello’ anniversary celebrations.
Just like instant noodles and fast-food, people want a readymade relationship. Struggling and establishing a home together has lost its old-world charm, as life and lifestyle expenses in urban areas skyrocket higher than the latest skyscrapers.
Love is blind and probably why we use the term ‘falling’ in love.
While you ponder offering the world at her feet, save some for your family planning by referring to the below news article. A perfect beginning to impermanent feelings.
Lab-Grown Diamonds: They’re Real, and They’re Spectacular
Getting engaged just got 30% cheaper.
De Beers took the industry by surprise when it announced earlier this year that it was getting into the lab-grown diamond business with a new sub-brand called Lightbox—a move that came after the company’s revenue dropped 4% in 2017, to $5.8 billion.