Steamy scenes and affordable: erotic station novels are increasingly popular, also among young people | Nina

Steamy scenes and affordable: erotic station novels are increasingly popular, also among young people | Nina
Steamy scenes and affordable: erotic station novels are increasingly popular, also among young people | Nina

Sexually tinted station novels ‘too dirty’ or ‘so embarrassing’ to read? Not anymore. The genre is becoming increasingly popular, also among young people. Hans Jansen, editor at publisher HarperCollins Holland, notes the trend and explains where it comes from. “In the past, most people were too embarrassed to read erotic stories.”

Erotic fiction has gained popularity in recent years. More than seven in ten Belgians like to read erotic stories, according to a survey of more than 11,000 Belgians by the social discovery platform ‘Twoo’ in 2018. And it’s not just women who like to read spicy stories, men are also into it. In fact, men (72.2 percent) even venture more than women (64.8 percent) to an erotic novel.

From ‘safe for mom’ to ‘only show it to your friends’: reading ‘smut’ on social media is hip

Since then, the love for erotic fiction only seems to increase. On the social media platform TikTok, BookTokkers (literature lovers on TikTok, ed.) their favorite erotic novels under the hashtags smut and smuttok , which now have 3.7 billion and 3.3 billion views.

In fact, there are hundreds of accounts dedicated to smuttok , including Hilary Henderson’s account, @bookishhill on TikTok. She has nearly 190,000 followers and nearly two million likes on her videos. She shares her favorite erotic novels and ranks them on spiciness. For example, in the video below she explains how she ranks her books from good to spicy. Or as she describes it herself, from ‘safe for mommy’ to ‘only show it to your friends’.

(Read more below the video.)

Hans Jansen, editor at publisher HarperCollins Holland, also notices an increase in the sale of erotic novels. “The release of the popular ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ series has revolutionized people’s buying habits,” he says. “Before that series came out, most people were embarrassed to read erotic stories. They didn’t want to be seen with it on the bus or subway. But the first book in the series has been at the top of the bestseller list for weeks. That has ensured a real breakthrough for that genre.”


Quote

People can read the books they want in complete anonymity, without fear of getting strange looks.

Hans Jansen

“Furthermore, the rise of eBooks has strongly influenced our sales figures,” Hans continues. “People can read the books they want in complete anonymity, without fear of getting strange looks. The corona period is also partly in between. People had nothing to do, so they bought relaxing novels en masse.”

“We note at our publishing house that Sylvia Day is a very good selling author in that genre. But we are mainly known for the popular Bouquetromans, a series of romantic and seductive stories. There are some spicy scenes, but the stories are not pornographic.”

“Our readership is on average between thirties and mid-fifties, but we notice that more and more young people are also interested in the genre. I think that’s because our serial editions are reasonably priced and such station novels are read quickly. You can easily read a Bouquet story in one and a half hours and then you have had a relaxing time. Of course, social media also plays a part in that story. If erotic novels are promoted more on Instagram or TikTok, more young people may be curious. Seeing reading makes reading.”


Do you like to read erotic station novels?

Also read:

Want to read about murder, female friendship or irresistible love? 16 cool books for the summer

Booksellers feel the positive impact of social media. “Young people ask for books they know via TikTok”

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The article is in Dutch

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