File photo: Men who read Richard Branson’s books were found to be the most impressive to women.

Our favourite reads can make us more – or less – attractive to the opposite sex, according to research.

Men who read Richard Branson’s books were found to be the most impressive to women – receiving on average three-quarters more contacts on internet dating sites. Those reading George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984 also made a good impression on women.

But the research, on behalf of dating site eHarmony, is bad news for Harry Potter fans, with male readers unlikely to spark any magic with the fairer sex.

Women who enjoyed The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee were most attractive to men, while reading Fifty Shades Of Grey was found to be a big turn-off.

Relationship expert Susan Quilliam said: "The sort of ideas put forward in Fifty Shades may be interesting temporarily, but not long-term. We want sexuality in a long-term relationship but if that is all we’re getting then the relationship isn’t going to last very long."


Explaining the attraction of tycoon Richard Branson, she added: "He is humorous, go-getting and seems like a man you could settle down with – besides the fact he is a millionaire."

Relationship experts at eHarmony looked for the most frequently occurring book titles in user profiles. They then mapped these against the number of contacts received.