Call it The Story of Oy.
One of the many fascinating insights that Nicholson Baker provides in his recent piece on the Kindle, A New Page, for The New Yorker is what kind of ebooks are most downloaded from Amazon.
“The success of the ebook is being fueled by the romance and erotic romance market,” asserts Peter Smith in the TechoFile blog for ITworld as quoted in Baker’s piece.
Felicia Day, “Vi” on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is cuckoo for the Kindle for that very reason. She writes in her blog that “as an insane reader of genre paperbacks, I’m absolutely in love with it. It would be great if Amazon sold it in a physical store somewhere so people could check them out themselves. I think they would sell a lot more of them. They especially make great gifts, as they’re an indulgence most ppl won’t allow themselves per say, but if you’re looking for a REALLY nice gift for a family member or friend who loves books or travels a lot, you couldn’t go wrong.
“Now for the ‘come clean’ part: I’ve read like, 6 books this week and ordered about 10 more. And no ordinary books: Pure unadulterated TRASHY-ROMANCE books! Check out my GoodReads shelf vaginal-urban-fantasy, it’s bloating to an alarming degree. It’s stuff I never would have checked out at the Barnes and Noble, because the gleaming and oily man chests would have made me blush too much [unless I was drunk, but that’s a previous blog entry :-)]. I’m delighted to be reading ridiculous werewolf/demon/vampire-Alpha-male fiction with no guilt.”
Now the Kindle’s primary benefit to society is made clear: Providing the ability to read guilty-pleasure lit. without fear of being busted. Sort of like the old days in high school, hiding the comic book in front of Introduction to Biology so that the teach’ wouldn’t catch on.