The subtleties of human attraction will probably always remain mostly mysterious to science, but the filmmaker John Waters has a generally decent rule of thumb: “If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.”
Words to live by you’d have thought – but according to a survey by eHarmony, not everyone does.
The online dating site recently released data showing that while being an avid reader does make you more attractive to the opposite sex, it impresses women much more than men.
In fact, men who list reading as a hobby in their online dating profile receive 19% more messages, making it, ironically, a no-brainer for online lotharios. Women who list reading, on the other hand, see a much more modest boost in messages – of around 3%. There are several schools of thought for why this should be the case: perhaps it’s because women get such a volume of messages that the difference isn’t appreciable, or perhaps it’s because many men aren’t that arsed about women’s rich inner lives.
Surprisingly, the book that makes a man most appealing to women is, er, Richard Branson’s tome of business advice Screw It, Let’s Do It and Like a Virgin, which is apparently such an aphrodisiac that men who list it can expect a 74% boost in correspondence. Most of it, we are forced to assume, is just people asking why.
Other particularly sexy books include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, 1984 and, for whatever reason, anything featuring World War 2.
Even The Da Vinci Code gives you a cheeky 5% increase in sexual magnetism. But whatever you do, keep quiet if you’re a fan of the Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter or the Bible.
For the vanishingly small percentage of women who want to increase the messages they get, the best choices are the Hunger Games, the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Game of Thrones. Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings are also net positives, apparently because men are all closet nerds.
Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight, however, are right out.
There’s also some guff that claims book lovers find it easier to form trusting relationships with others, but as any fool who’s read Wuthering Heights knows, that isn’t true in the slightest.