So reading is sexy – but that’s not all there is to it. Does it matter what we read, or can we simply pick out a few dog eared tomes to stack on our nightstand? The survey unearthed some interesting facts about men, woman and the desire for a literary-minded lover but, first off, let’s take a look at which genres fared the best, with results from our 2015 survey on books and dating.
Men like women who embrace their sensuous side
Putting the lover back in book lover, a previous EliteSingles survey of 1700 people revealed that men’s heads are most easily turned by women who read erotica. In fact, for more than one in five of the men surveyed, female erotica readers are as sexy as it gets.
Indeed, when asked ''What is the most attractive genre a potential partner can read?'' 21 per cent of men picked erotic fiction as the ultimate turn-on, putting it far ahead of the next most popular genres – thrillers, at 12 per cent and biographies, at 11 per cent. In other words, if you’re a woman wanting to meet a man on your next commute it might be time to put down the paper and pick up 50 Shades of Grey (or even some Anaïs Nin).
Women like men of mystery
However, the same strategy is not going to work for men who are out to impress women. Indeed, the women in that survey were not fans of erotica, with just 6 per cent admitting that they find men who read it attractive.
The way to a woman's heart lies instead behind a veil of mystery: 19 per cent of women picked thrillers as the sexiest genre a man can read (James Patterson and Louise Penny, take a bow!). This was followed in popularity by non-fiction, which was viewed as attractive by 17 per cent of women surveyed and by biographies, which were favoured by 16 per cent.
Which books would you most love your date to have read?
But what about individual books? Is there a page-turner in circulation that stands out from the crowd, and will help its readers find love? Our most recent books survey says: yes!
Following 2017's survey, in which over 800 participants were asked which books they would most like a date to have read, a clear winner has emerged. Dip the lights, and a cue the drum roll, please: the most attractive book to have in your back catalogue is…
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee!
Over a third of respondents included this in their top five, with the book being a clear frontrunner for both men and women. It seems singles like their partners with a social conscience, and clear sense of justice. Considering the current world climate, this result seems particularly interesting.
What’s more, the second book in the running, as selected by a further third of participants, is George Orwell’s dystopian political commentary 1984. It seems that in these turbulent times, America’s singles are looking for someone with their feet on the ground, and an interest in current affairs.
Beyond searing social commentary, serial fantasy and science fiction fared exceptionally well, with The Lord of the Rings series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, the Harry Potter series, and the Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) series all making it into the top ten. Men’s tastes run more towards Douglas Adams - 1 in 4 men would like to see their date reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Here’s the top ten in full:
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
- The Lord of the Rings (series) by J. R. R. Tolkien
- The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
- The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (series) by Douglas Adams
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
- Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- a Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones series) by George R. R. Martin
The singles surveyed clearly express a penchant for explorative, bold literature, with clear social implications. The presence of so many escapist novels seems to suggest we love a partner with an active imagination, while the two most popular novels also indicate we look for a strong moral compass and intelligence in our partners.
According to EliteSingles Psychologist Salama Marine, there are a variety of reasons why these books have come to the fore, chiefly, ‘’people look for those who have interesting hobbies – and reading is one of them. Why? Because a great book leads to great discussions.’’ She adds ‘’also, your taste in books can highlight aspects of your personality - are you curious, romantic, dreamy? By sharing your tastes you can show and share your inner world.’’
Salama says that this popularity shows that ‘’reading is an easy passion to share with [your] partner’’ – which makes it the kind of common ground that cements a great relationship!
In conclusion, if you want to get in someone's good books, pick up a good book. Why? Because reading is – officially – sexy.
Are you ready to start a new chapter in your love life? Want someone who shares your passions and who is on the same page? Then try EliteSingles today.
EliteSingles editorial August 2015. Updated April 2017
Do you have questions or comments about literature and love? Do you think that reading is sexy? Let us know by commenting below or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org