And now, some GOOD news:

According to the New York Times, sales of romance novels are outselling other categories and are, in fact, keeping the publishing market somewhat stable even in these difficult economic times. The romance category was up 7 percent after holding fairly steady for the previous four years.

The New York Times observes, “Romance readers are considered among the most loyal fans, sticking to a series or an author once they have grown attached to one. ‘It’s a very dedicated audience who doesn’t see it as a luxury as much as a necessity,’ said Liate Stehlik, publisher of William Morrow and Avon, imprints of HarperCollins Publishers.”

Instead of the lipstick index, then, should we be keeping track of the romance novel index?

For my part, I came into a few extra bucks (no thanks to the IRS!), and immediately bought Amanda and Diane (and Deb‘s) anthology, Lilith Saintcrow‘s The Demon Librarian, Alisa Sheckley‘s The Better To Hold You and Elizabeth Hoyt‘s To Beguile A Beast. Plus I’m already waiting for Carolyn Jewel‘s My Forbidden Desire, Anne Stuart‘s Silver Falls and J.R. Ward‘s Lover Avenged.

How about you? What books are you treating yourself to while you’re scrimping on everything else?