Monday, March 7, 2016

We've Been Waiting for The Ripped Bodice

Of course it's pink.

The first EVER bricks-and-mortar bookstore specializing in ROMANCE, is a lovely, bright pink.
The Ripped Bodice
Main & Venice, Culver City, CA
When we consider that 60%+ of the entire publishing market is romance (basically, it's the genre that pays the bills and keeps the lights on), and that there are dozens of indie bookstores specializing in mystery, sci-fi, and all those other genres, the question begs, how come romance didn't have a place, off the Internet, to call home?

Maybe it took two passionate and dedicated sisters like Bea and Leah Koch to start changing things.

I cannot express how much love I have for this mission statement.

There were all kinds of yummies to celebrate the grand opening.

And sparkling pink lemonade, too.

They put this out by the front door around four. As of when I left, about five,
I was amused to notice that NO ONE had disturbed this arrangement by taking any of the donuts.
Check out the sexy black lace panels along the top of this section!

Cute touches like this everywhere in the store!

There are many wonderful sections in this large, beautiful, well-stocked store. LGBTQ Paranormal. Cowboy Romance, Regency Romance, Historical Romance, Vampire Romance, Contemporary Romance. Young Adult, Autobiography.

But one book you won't find on their erotica shelves is a popular bestseller which also, in the judgment of many readers (including me), does not model active, informed consent. I love these women and their ethics!

Sports Romance? 

Want sports romance? So many choices!
(Note to self: Find out what Parkour is.)
Just a small part of the sports romance section.

What's a grand opening without cake?

The cake was yummy.
What else could a bookstore need? How about an inviting and colorful corner for children to sit and color, while their parents browse?

While the store is mainly books, there were also candles, bath salts, and some delightful book-related tscotches tzotckes knickknacks.

These are the adorable boxes for adorable book necklaces. If you look very close, the titles are readable!

Comfortable couches and chairs for readers to sit and dive into books? Check. Literary inspirational sayings? Check.


Can you open a romance-themed store without Fabio? Don't be ridiculous!

Even though he was holding heavy chains, Fabio was a real standup guy all evening.

Well-lit, well-appointed, centrally located in Los Angeles county, comfortable, nearby parking garage. I understand from Bea Koch that The Ripped Bodice will also be holding community events, as well as author signings, in the months to come. 

I needed more books like I need a raging yeast infection. But these all HAD to come home with me -
The Francesca Lia Block, the Tessa Dare, and the Rebekah Weatherspoon signed by the authors!
(And my receipt was PINK!)
I am sure I will be going back to The Ripped Bodice many times over the next few months. And for all the disrespect given to the romance genre (and those who read it), doesn't everybody want love? Maybe not everyone wants sex (though most of us do) - and there are "sweet" romances available at The Ripped Bodice, too.

But being cherished, valued, finding our own Happily Ever After - we all want that. And now there's a place we can find it.

Did you go to the Grand Opening?
Do you love (or loathe) reading romance? Why?
Your thoughts?