Torstar Corporation, Harlequin’s parent corporation announced their 4th quarter and 2008 full-year earnings yesterday. The corporation as a whole suffered losses in the hundreds of millions, which they sounded surprisingly sanguine about in their press release.

However, while the parent company suffered as a whole, it is interesting to note that Harlequin is doing well. Very well, in fact. For three years in a row, Harlequin’s earnings have steadily risen. In an era of publishing horror stories, this is encouraging to hear.

Though the article doesn’t give reasons for Harlequin’s great success, one can’t help but note that novels from the various Harlequin imprints are almost ubiquitous. I see at least a few in every bookshop, Target or grocery store that I frequent – not to mention the fact that their website makes ordering very easy. I know that I usually order at least a few every month – and I have a friend who downloads their e-books regularly.

In addition, the various imprints give readers a fair amount of variety. Some lines suit my tastes better than others, but I generally find at least a few titles each month that intrigue me. Harlequin Historicals, in particular, has become my go-to line when I need a break from the Regency period. While the trade size books tend to follow standard pricing, many of the mass market books, especially in the category lines, are cheaper than the average paperback, a very welcome fact in this economy.

Whatever the reason, I hope the earnings trend continues for Harlequin. In the meantime, I plan to keep reading and see what happens next.

-Lynn Spencer