Sophie Watson

Reading is sexy: why smart singles are attractive

Can reading books improve your chances in love? A recent EliteSingles survey says yes! In fact, two in every three singles prefer to date an avid reader. What's more, the contents of your book shelf may make you more attractive.

With help from our members and from EliteSingles psychologist Salama Marine, we explored this literary longing and tested the claim that reading is sexy.

The numbers don’t lie: reading is sexy!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single person in possession of a good book must be quite attractive – to our survey respondents that is!  Indeed, nearly two thirds of the 1700 singles who answered our ‘bookshelf’ survey admitted that they would like to date someone who loves to read,1 while only 1 per cent of members said they don't like dating people who read.

EliteSingles Psychologist, Salama Marine maintains that an interest in 'quieter' hobbies like reading can suggest that 'your date is a balanced, independent individual with something to offer - which tends to appeal to singles, especially early on in the relationship.' There you have it then, reading makes you a more balanced intelligent individual - very attractive!

bookshelf infograph

So reading is sexy - but what is it that we're reading that makes us attractive? Our survey revealed what men and women really desire on a potential partner's bookshelf.

Want to find the right balance between life and love? Meet others who do too!

1. Men like women who embrace their naughty side with a bit of erotica

Putting the lover back in book lover, the survey revealed that men’s heads are most easily turned by women who read erotica. In fact, for more than one in five of the men surveyed, female erotica readers are as sexy as it gets.

Indeed, when asked ''What is the most attractive genre a potential partner can read?'' 21 per cent of men picked erotic fiction as the ultimate turn-on, putting it far ahead of the next most popular genres – thrillers, at 12 per cent and biographies, at 11 per cent. In other words, if you’re a woman wanting to meet a man on your next commute it might be time to put down the paper and pick up 50 Shades of Grey.

2. Women like mysterious men

The way to a woman's heart lies behind a veil of mystery. 19 per cent of women picked thrillers as the sexiest genre a man can read. So any men palming through one of James Patterson's novels, have probably caught the attention of nearby ladies. The survey showed that second most popular form of literature was non-fiction, viewed as attractive by 17 per cent of women, with biographies close behind, favored by 16 per cent. However erotic literature did not score highly with women, with just 6 per cent admitting that they find men who read it attractive.

Further reading: looking for single women seeking men? This is the place to start.

3. The law of attraction

Although genre can play a part in attraction, ultimately reading in general is enticing! The law of attraction indicates like is attracted to like. And as 87 per cent of American singles stated that they enjoyed reading for pleasure and only 1 per cent consider reading to be boring, evidently Americans do think reading is sexy!

According to EliteSingles Psychologist Salama Marine, there are a variety of reasons why singles love those who love books but, chiefly, it’s because ‘’people look for those who have interesting hobbies – and reading is one of them. Why? Because a great book leads to great discussions.’’ She adds ‘’also, your taste in books can highlight aspects of your personality: are you curious, romantic, dreamy? By sharing your tastes you can show and share your inner world.’’4

Salama says that this popularity shows that ‘’reading is an easy passion to share with [your] partner’’ – which makes it the kind of common ground that cements a great relationship!

In conclusion, if you want to get in someone's good books, pick up a good book. Why? Because reading is – officially – sexy.

Are you ready to start a new chapter in your love life? Want someone who shares your passions and who is on the same page? Then try EliteSingles today.

Do you have questions or comments about literature and love? Do you think that reading is sexy? Let us know by commenting below or write to us at

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