Of course, the popularity of the Twilight books is about the same as those who devour the romances you see at grocery store stalls, Harlequin romances and others like them.
I finally read some of those romances, wondering why people obsess over them. I still am wondering. And it made me wonder more things, like do people really get paid to write such drivel?
People in the trade call this genre "bodice-rippers," from a line in one of these books:
He ripped her bodice. And what the blazes is a bodice? And who in their right mind wears one of those things? Nobody in real life ever does the things described in the romances. And if the readers are looking for vicarious sex, they'd better look elsewhere. Nothing in them remotely resembles sex.
Here is the usual plot of these bodice-rippers. The man is usually named Reginald, and he is more handsome than any man ever is, there are no flaws in him, he is perfect, and he knows it!
The woman's name is a governess named Lucille. She has been waiting in this place, having no life of her own, for her knight in shining armor to take her away from all this. When they meet, violins play and Lucille says "Oh, Reginald, make a woman of me!"
I'm afraid if I was Reginald, I'd say "Lady, I'm afraid it's too late. You're too far gone."
And I'm left wondering why both don't end up in an insane asylum. Along with the author.
Surprisingly, Tolkien was a far better romance writer than all of these combined. Look at the romances between Faramir and Eowyn, of Aragorn and Arwen. Beren and Luthien.
Squirrel Lovers Club!Meneldor, Warrior Bard, and Brondgast, Mithril Knights
Gwaeryn and Robin, The Expected Party
Meneldor, Alatar and Pallando, Darkness Reigns: The Resistance