Middle-aged women want to read books about sex more than anything else, new research has found.
A poll of nearly 2,000 women aged between 45 and 60 found that romantic fiction was the most popular genre – chosen by 35% of those surveyed. Nearly two thirds said they liked raunchy scenes in novels, and more than half described sex in books as ‘titillating’.
A further 10% of those questioned on their reading habits said they actively chose books which featured lots of sex scenes. Meanwhile crime and mystery novels got 33% of the vote, and other novels 31%.
Reference books were the least popular. Among these, cookbooks were favourites, according to the survey by the moisturiser brand Astral.
Nearly two thirds of respondents read at least one book a month, with one in five managing to get through one a week, and one in ten reading two books a week.
At the other end of the scale, 17% read a book only every six months, with 6.5% managing only one a year and 4.6% admitting they hardly ever read books.
Dr Trisha Macnair, a spokeswoman for Astral, said: ‘This research shows that reading for pleasure is still an incredibly popular pastime for women. It's great to see most people read at least a book a month, with some getting through two or three books a week.’
Top 10 books women would take to a desert island, according to the survey:
1 Bridget Jones's Diary – Helen Fielding
2 Atonement – Ian McEwan
3 Harry Potter (any book) – J K Rowling
4 The Time Traveler's Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
5 Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie
6 The Other Boleyn Girl – Philippa Gregory
7 The Life of Pi – Yann Martel
8 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
9 Notes on a Scandal – Zoe Heller
10 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
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