Bookstore Romance Day has announced that bestselling author Meg Cabot will serve as the event’s 2020 ambassador.
Billie Bloebaum, founder of the event and bookseller at Third Street Books in McMinnville, Oregon, told Bookselling This Week that many booksellers and readers grew up with Meg Cabot.
“She influenced so much of what we think of as contemporary tween fiction, and the original Princess Diaries movie is embedded in everybody’s mind. It’s part of the pop culture landscape,” she said. “Having Cabot agree to serve as ambassador is just overwhelming — this is only our second year and we’re kind of an upstart in a lot of ways.”
Bloebaum said that Cabot’s role in Bookstore Romance Day will allow more children’s-focused booksellers to get involved, too. Cabot embodies the fact that romance is for everybody, she added, saying, “There are happily ever afters across all age groups for reading.”
Especially now, Bloebaum noted, in light of the coronavirus outbreak, many readers are turning to romance for comfort. “Everybody is looking for things that make them happy, and romance is all about the happily ever after,” she said. “I hear from a lot of people who don’t usually read the genre that they’ve been reading romance because of that.”
Contemporary romance, Bloebaum noted, might be difficult to read right now because it’s set in a world that doesn’t exist anymore, but she has been recommending that readers pick up historical romances, as well as fantasy and science fiction.
Right now, she finds herself drawn to backlist titles from Sarah MacLean, Grace Burrowes, and Joanna Shupe, as well Scarlett Peckham’s The Rakess and Kit Rocha’s Deal with the Devil. Booksellers looking for new releases to recommend can check out this Edelweiss+ collection for April and May 2020.
This year, Bookstore Romance Day is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 15, but is also experimenting with ways the event can go virtual to reach readers around the country; watch the event’s Facebook page for details.