Tuesday, November 08, 2005





Everything You Wanted To Ask About Mills & Boon But Were Simply Too Shy!

THERE are a number of people out there who have sneaked Mills & Boon romance books into their bedroom and read them on the quiet. Girls, of course, have been reading them rather openly and are not shy about it.
The lads, I fear, are the ones who don't want to be caught reading girly stuff like Mills & Boon. With my right palm over my heart, I now swear I have read Mills & Boon books and are not afraid to admit it. I rather enjoyed them too. Romance is an emotional subject which keeps our hopes, confidence and faith in the other gender alive all the time.
So in a way, Mills & Boon is unwittingly performing a vital function. Gerald Mills and Charles Boon started the Mills & Boon Ltd back in 1908. That's about 97 years ago. Initially, the enterprise began as a non-romance publishing house. However, strangely their first publication was a romance novel. I suppose that foretold its future.
For the next 20 years, nothing earth-shaking took place. Then the Great Depression descended on the world like a great plague. During those difficult years, there was one thing that people did not forget or got enough of - love. Thus, the Mills & Boon team decided it was time to inject some love into people's miserable lives.
Those depressing years saw Mills & Boon books being sold through what were called the weekly "two-penny libraries". I believe those were rental book business. The books were also aptly described as "the books in brown".
Then, in the 1950s, the lending trade took a dive but Mills & Boon's romance was still very much in the air.
Here in where Mills & Boon crossed paths with Harlequin of Canada. In 1949, Richard Bonnycastle started Harlequin Books. For the next two score and five years, Harlequin emerged from being a reprint publishing house into the world's largest enterprise of romance books.
Currently, Harlequin books are found in 100 overseas markets and its titles are translated into 23 languages around the world. Harlequin books are found in South and North America, China, Europe and the Middle East.
It has a range of romance titles that have caught the imagination of all those who have romance in their blood. In 1957, Harlequin began acquiring publishing rights to Mills & Boon romance titles. In seven short years, this Canadian publishing giant had cornered the market on romance books, printing its entire range.
In the fateful year of 1971, Harlequin bought over Mills & Boon and began expanding its empire. By the end of the 70s decade, there was nobody to challenge Harlequin in the romance field anymore. It has become king of romance and top dog of its own brand of business.
Harlequin's record of publishing books is a phenomenon by itself. Since 1949, it has printed three billion books. That's half the human population on earth.
Harlequin has numerous categories for its romance novels. They are categorised as Modern, Tender, Historical, Medical,By Request and Blaze. Under its Silhouette range, it has Desire, Special Edition, Sensation, Intrigue, SuperRomance and Spotlight, and Special Releases.
From the figures, readers know that romance is still very much alive among the human community. Who says romance is dead? Slap your boyfriend or husband if he says that!

Bloggers, take heed


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