Love Story: the books proven to improve your love life


Reading is one of the nation’s favourite hobbies but did you know that it can affect your love life? These are the books and authors proven to attract more attention when online dating

Reading is one of the most common interests listed on dating profiles. Many of us read for pleasure, after all, whether it’s as a distraction on the morning commute or a way to unwind before bed. But did you know that your choice of reading material could have an impact on your love life?

The good news is that being an avid reader makes you more attractive to the opposite sex. Men who list reading on their online dating profile receive 19% more messages on eHarmony, while female readers receive 3% more. Bookworms have also been found to be more intellectually curious than most and find it easier to form open and trusting relationships with others.

The most popular books listed on dating profiles are a mix of classic novels and contemporary bestsellers. The most read for women include the Harry Potter series, Pride and Prejudice, and Fifty Shades of Grey. Men, on the other hand, opt for more action/adventure series, mentioning Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings the most.

Reading and writing more messages

If you’ve been gripped by the antics of Lisbeth Sander then you’ll be pleased to know that both men and women are attracted to fans of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Men who mention this book receive 36% more communication and women see a 31% increase. However, if Katniss Everdeen is your heroine of choice you’re still in luck; female fans of the Hunger Games receive 44% more online communication and men see the number of messages they receive increase by 21% when they namecheck Suzanne Collins’ series.

Unfortunately, not all books give you a boost in online dating messages. Men who are open about their love of Harry Potter on their profile receive 56% less communication than those who don’t. And despite it being one of the UK’s favourite books, women who own up to their love of the Fifty Shares series receive 16% less communication – perhaps Christian Grey makes for intimidating competition!

Literary lies

Here at eHarmony, we’d always encourage you to be yourself if you want to make the most of your online dating experience. Unfortunately, not everyone takes our advice and lying about reading habits could be seen as an easy way to impress. The Harry Potter series tops the charts as the books most people lie about having read, closely followed by Fifty Shades of Grey, the Bible, War and Peace, and the Great Gatsby.

But it turns out that the real secret of success when it comes to books and online dating is Richard Branson! It’s true; mentioning the Virgin mogul and author of Screw it, Let’s Do It and Like a Virgin: Secrets they don’t teach you at business school virtually guarantees that your profile will get more attention. Men who mentioned Branson’s books receive 74% more communication than those who don’t, while women see a more modest increase of 19%. Other authors that attract for men include Dan Brown, John Grisham, and Lee Child. Unfortunately, women didn’t see the same benefits; listing Dan Brown among their favourite authors leads to a 3% reduction in communication while Danielle Steele fans receive a huge 56% less attention.

1. Men: Popular books with the biggest impact on online dating communications

Book Difference in no. of messages received
Screw It, Let’s Do It and Like a Virgin +74%
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo +36%
1984 +21%
World War II +16%
The Da Vinci Code +5%
The Hobbit -15%
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes -22%
Lord of the Rings series -24%
The Bible -37%
Harry Potter series -55%

1. Women: Popular books with the biggest impact on online dating communications

Book Difference in no. of messages received
The Hunger Games 44%
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo +31%
A Game of Thrones +30%
To Kill a Mockingbird 21%
Pride and Prejudice +18%
Harry Potter series +16%
Lord of the Rings series +10%
Twilight -6%
Fifty Shades of Grey -16%
The Bible -63%

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