New figures released by the British Heart Foundation reveal romance literature is in high demand at their shops – with the North East the country’s biggest hotspot for love.
Another summer of love might be drawing to a close, but our latest sales figures have revealed that we’re soppy at heart all year round, with romance novels flying off our shelves faster than any other category.
The sales data, released by BHF to mark National Read a Book Day on Thursday 6th September, shows that we’re suckers for stories of star-crossed lovers – from Romeo & Juliet to Wuthering Heights – whether soaking up the sun pool-side or cosied up on the sofa with a cuppa.
The BHF figures reveal that romance novels are beating sales of children’s books, biographies and collectables, with our charity shops shifting 555,301 copies in just six months.
But despite the nation loving a love story, there’s a clear North/South divide when it comes to spotting the greatest romantics. The North of England are head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to bagging a bargain romance novel – with Newcastle buying an incredible 4,966 romantic books in just six months and residents in Bolton, Huddersfield, Sunderland and Liverpool also purchasing over 1,000 love stories each.
But down south it seems love isn’t in the air. Camden came out as the least romantic spot, with just 133 romance tales sold – and despite playing host to the most romantic wedding of the decade, Windsor locals snapped up a mere 347 romantic reads.
Perhaps playing to their studious stereotypes, BHF’s Cambridge and Oxford shops sold more non-fiction than romantic books, while Port Talbot also came in low on the list, shifting just 289 love stories.
However, Wimbledon bucked the trend, and gave the North a run for their money, with locals in south-west London snapping up 1044 heartfelt texts.
In the six months from 24th December 2017 to 30th June 2018, BHF’s 750 shops sold an incredible 2,391,770 books across the UK – going towards the yearly figure of over 5 million. Thanks to the generosity of the public, profits raised from all book sales help fund the £100 million of life-saving research we fund into conditions including heart disease, stroke, vascular dementia and diabetes every year.
Allison Swaine-Hughes, our Retail Director, said:
“At the BHF, shoppers can always find a bargain and our books are fantastic value, starting at just £1. This National Read a Book Day we would love the public to head into their local BHF shop and grab a book – whether it’s a romance, a thriller or even a cook book – and get reading! And for those whose shelves are already heaving – we always welcome donations, so if you have any good quality reads, please donate them to your nearest shop and help us continue to raise funds for life-saving research.”