Bookstore Romance Day, a day designed to give independent bookstores an opportunity to celebrate romance fiction, was created by Billie Bloebaum in 2019 and is scheduled to take place this year on Saturday, August 15.
Roseann Backlin of Love’s Sweet Arrow in Tinley Park, Illinois, told Bookselling This Week that she is thrilled for her store to be participating in Bookstore Romance Day. “We are celebrating the day with two virtual events and giveaways (both online and in store),” said Backlin. “We signed up because happily-ever-afters (HEAs) are the best books to read, and promoting this is our goal. We are most looking forward to the smiling faces that leave our store when we have events like this! Hopefully next year we will have authors in the store again.”
Britt Hopkins from Second Star to the Right Books in Denver, Colorado, said that her staff can’t wait for Bookstore Romance Day. “It’s a genre that doesn’t get enough love, since there’s this idea that it can’t be for everyone,” said Hopkins. “Especially as a children’s bookstore, it’s something that parents often shy away from with fears of introducing their teens to mature content too early (but not all romance is sex). We signed up to try to break that stigma, and bring a happily ever after (or a happy for now) to everyone who walks through our doors.”
Second Star to the Right will be partnering with Scholastic’s I Read YA program to present a YA Romance panel on August 15, as well as offering discounted romance books all day long.
“We’ve also been recommending some of our favorite swoon-worthy reads on social media all month long in celebration of #RomanceAwarenessMonth,” Hopkins added. “We’re most looking forward to showing readers that they can find themselves in a romance novel, just like any other kind of book.”
Around the country, booksellers are getting ready for the event. Here are just some of the ways booksellers are celebrating:
- Itinerant Literate Books in Charleston, South Carolina, will be tucking away surprises in the stacks for Bookstore Romance Day, including love letters written by famous authors.
- The Book Rack in Cincinnati, Ohio, will be selling “mega romance surprise book bundles” in honor of Bookstore Romance Day.
- Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights, Ohio, is celebrating Bookstore Romance Day with “a smorgasbord of new additions” to the store’s romance section.
- Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, Washington, has set up a romance-themed table display.
- Flashlight Books in Walnut Creek, California, took to Instagram to recommend Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert for Bookstore Romance Day.
- River Dog Book Co. in Sullivan, Wisconsin, posted recommendations for Romance Awareness Month, which included To Catch an Earl by Kate Bateman and Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev.
- Mariana Calderon of Second Star to the Right Books in Denver, Colorado, reviewed The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams on Instagram.
- In the week leading up to the event, Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, North Carolina, has posted staff romance recommendations to Twitter.
- Silver Unicorn Books in Acton, Massachusetts, took to Twitter to show off a Bookstore Romance Day-branded window cling.
- On Saturday, August 22, Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will be celebrating with a panel featuring Talia Hibbert, Vanessa Riley, Farrah Rochon, and Kennedy Ryan. It will be moderated by Christina Tucker, co-host of the podcast Unfriendly Black Hotties.