A recent survey found that Jerusalemites are the biggest readers in the country, with the average person reading more books per month than any where else in Israel.

“Not by chance is Jerusalem a city of wisdom, with a highly intelligent population showing themselves to truly be people of the book,” Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski said in response to the survey’s findings.

But the real kicker is that these highly intelligent Jerusalemites prefer romance novels to any other genre.

I assume it’s the escapism provided by these novels that Jerusalemites crave. Staring at endless Jerusalem stone facades can get quite overwhelmingly monotonous after a while, especially in winter. Let’s not even discuss the endless political scandals, the ever present threat of impending doom delivered by an otherwise pedestrian suicide bomber or an Iranian Intercontinental ballistic missile. When simple tasks like shopping for vegetables or trying to get on a bus require herculean efforts, testing one’s sense of civility and restraint, perhaps a bodice ripper is no longer a low brow form of entertainment… heck, maybe they ought to prescribe them at the Doctor’s Office. “Take 2 Harlequin Romances and call me in the morning!”

I mean seriously, anything that will chill these people out a bit is fine with me.

About the author

Laya Millman


  • I was under the impression that most books sold, total, were romance novels (though the share of profits is smaller, because they’re cheaper than books in many other genres). So this doesn’t really tell you anything in particular about the character of Yerushalmim.