Compare the Netflix smash Love Is Blind to the waning grand dame of dating shows, The Bachelor

A new streaming adaptation of a wholesome romance seems to pop up weekly, from Netflix’s take on Katherine Center’s novel Happiness for Beginners, whose premise is more or less Wild as a rom-com, to Paramount+’s Love in Taipei, a breezy new adult romance based on Abigail Hing Wen’s YA novel

Henry and many of her peers play to their audience by writing the stories they treasure into the book. (There’s a whole subgenre of romance novels about people who love to read and write, including Henry’s Book Lovers.) Like Laura Jean in Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, January was a romance reader first; she discovered the genre when she picked up a paperback in the waiting room of her cancer-stricken mom’s radiologist. “It was the first wave of relief I’d felt in weeks, and from there, I binge-read every romance novel I could get my hands on,” she recalls. “Mom’s first diagnosis taught me that love was an escape rope, “but it was her second diagnosis that taught me love could be a life vest when you were drowning.”

That life raft is a booming business. After a lockdown bump, and as the genre continues to trend in the corner of TikTok known as BookTok, Publisher’s Weekly reported a precipitous 52.4% increase in romance book sales in 2022. This summer, along with Happy Place and Icebreaker, romances by Ali Hazelwood, Ann Napolitano, Taylor Jenkins Reid, and publishing powerhouse Colleen Hoover dominate bestseller lists. read more