Looking for Love in Tough Times

Fresno, CA In an unpredictable economy, love and romance can offer an escape or relief. And it all goes to show, maybe you can buy love.

"We've seen an increase demand lately," said Marion Hersey with the Paperback Exchage.

Perhaps you have been looking for love in all the wrong places. "Some people will poo-poo the romance novels," said Hersey. But many turn to them; the novels that burn up the pages are turning out to be big sellers in a sluggish economy. Marion Hersey's selling hope.

"No matter how dire the circumstances are or how impossible the matchup between lovers is, they all will eventually get together and work it out."

The same could be said for our economy, though patience is wearing thin.

Paperback exchange has been selling all types of romance novels since 1975. Hersey's thrilled; romance sales are up 25 percent. "People want something enjoyable that's affordable," said Marion Hersey, "as the market's gone down, business has gone up for us."

"Table for Two" is a matchmaking first-date facilitator. It is also in high demand right now. "When people are losing control of other areas of their life, this is something they're really placing a focus on," said Matt Goldberg with the matchmaking service.

Goldberg said more people are looking for a companion, perhaps to help weather the economic storm. "They're really wanting to get back to the simpler things and they're wanting to spend time with other people."

In fact, for the first time since the baby boom of the 1950's, the baby population has hit an all-time high. The national center for health statistics says a record 4,317,000 babies were born in 2007.

In particular; a record share of babies are being born to unmarried women.

Health experts claim a poor economy can have a big impact in the area of unwanted pregnancies. It takes money to buy contraceptives and many sex education programs have gone the way of music and P.E. in high schools with California budget cuts.

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