adult fiction

The new found love for adult fiction

By Navya

There has been a sweeping increase in the readers of adult fiction and non-fiction category. According to statistics, adult fiction sales saw 25.5% of year-on-year growth in 2021 compared to the pandemic year. Although adult non-fiction figures are humble, they do successfully capture the ‘mood’ of the literary market. Overall, statistics have declared ‘Young Adult’ fiction as the unanimous market winner of literature.

While the figures look encouraging, the unprecedented growth cannot be referred to as a drastic transformation. The reader’s attitude shift is not sudden. It has been a gradual development of interest (just like love). Since we do not deal with the revenues and finances of the literary market, something else caught our attention. That is the reader’s attitude shift towards embracing this long-existing but long-ignored genre – Adult fiction and non-fiction.

Since we are passionate about books and reverberate with the exact feelings that you as book lovers have, we thought about capturing the ‘market mood’ and the reasons behind the change in this mood.

Adult fiction and non-fiction have been reigning the bookshelves for centuries now. Yet there has been a very little conversation happening around this genre. “What is the reason?” you ask us. Taboo and apprehension, we call it. There are a lot of reasons that brought about the current change today.

Globalization has played a key role in bringing about the much-required changes in people’s attitudes. Centuries ago, everything and anything about human’s biological construct was considered a ‘shush-shush.’ Historical events like industrialization, wars, cross-continent migrations, and technological disruptions spilt over into various aspects of human life. This spill-over effect strongly impacted the long-held inhibitions about personal life, romance, and sex too.

Cognitive evolution

Our cognitive abilities and inhibitions are inevitably intertwined with our immediate surroundings, happenings, and consequences in which we grew up. While globalization encouraged tolerance and embracing attitude, other events contributed to the attitude and psychological growth of the people. This led to the development of liberal attitudes towards adult fiction and non-fiction in both media and literature.

Technological influence

The advent of the internet, digital media, and social media further pushed the globalization and cognitive development of human beings. Technological influence takes half of the credit for habitual, attitude, and psychological shift of readers. Wide access to books through digital gadgets in the form of audiobooks and E-books further motivated people to indulge in their favourite reading without fearing judgment and taboo.

Media influence

The social situation and media trends have been reflective of each other over the decades since the inception of media. Media like serials, movies, sitcoms, and similar shows have been progressive since the beginning. Although there were controversial movies and instances, by far, the media has been successful in influencing the thinking patterns of people. Way before they embrace the adult genre in literature, people started loving and flocking to adult genre movies and shows.

If you are a good observe, movies started displaying adult affection without sensors or blurring out. And the audience too stopped criticizing or finding objections to this trend. It has created a landscape prior to the reader’s attitude shift. This way, media has been a positive influence and shown adult fiction in a positive light to disassociate the adult genre with feelings of shyness and taboo.


Is this shift good or bad? Well, every literary piece exists for a reason. Pushing aside all your inhibitions, what else could you possibly infer from the trend? When the reports were first released, anachronistic people frowned upon the ‘unusual’ habits. While some criticized the ‘bizarre’ taste of ‘GenZ,’ a few others ‘blamed’ the pandemic for this undesired shift.

Adult fiction or non-fiction is not merely a source to quench the lustful thirst of people diagnosed with satyriasis, contrary to the anachronistic people strongly believe. It is a great source of knowledge and pleasure just like anything else. The growth in adult fiction readers reflects the improvement in ground social reality and situation. The embracing of the adult genre represents the evolved mindsets and attitudes. It replicates the attitudes of people who think that the adult literary genre is just another literary genre of entertainment and knowledge like everything else.

Looking at the trend and the social reality, it is quite evident that the situation is only going to get better with time. This is just the beginning and there is going to be momentous growth of consumption of adult fiction and non-fiction. Pandemic is just one push factor for the growth of adult fiction and non-fiction but moving forward, the literary landscape seems perfectly ready for a genuine shift and development.

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