Several months ago, I contributed a small amount to a Kickstarter campaign for a specialty romance bookstore right here in Los Angeles. I don’t buy many physical books these days having converted to reading ebooks almost entirely.
I wanted to support The Ripped Bodice for several reasons: (1) I would love to be able to attend author signings which are hard to find around here; (2) I love the idea of there being a place where I can get recommendations and discuss romance books with knowledgeable people and (3) there are so many specialty bookstores — why shouldn’t there be a romance one?
I’ve been following Bea and Leah’s progress on the store after the successful Kickstarter campaign at @TheRippedBodice. The store’s Grand Opening is March 4th and 5th, but I was thrilled to see that they are conducting a soft opening this week. Having a quiet Sunday, I rushed down to see the store in person.
The Ripped Bodice is painted a cute pink color on the outside and is white on the inside which allows the books to be the stars. And there are so many romance books of all types and genres including historical, contemporary, young adult, paranormal and erotica. They also have a smattering of books in Spanish and even have books on the romance genre itself. (I am sure I’ve missed other groupings but it was too much to absorb in one trip).
I think my favorite part of the store is that the books are arranged differently than in other stores. For example, the historical romances are in order of time period then author. So all the Regencies are together, all the Victorians, etc. For the paranormal romances, Vampire lovers, witch lovers, Shifter fans can find all their books together. What I like best about this is that it allows me to find books in a different way other than author. Whether I feel like a witch romance today or I want to find a book similar to an author I already read, this upsetting of the standard shelving arrangement made me look at the books differently.
The store is fun but tasteful and elegant. I appreciated Bea and Leah who were friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I didn’t have any specific books that I was looking for so I asked for recommendations for a contemporary and a paranormal, Several choices for each genre were suggested after questioning about my own tastes. I can’t remember ever getting that kind of service for romances at a bookstore.
I walked away with three books (I had already decided to get a Jennifer Ashley historical).
There are cute little pink receipts! (You can see the corner of mine in the above photo).
I will return next weekend for the Grand Opening events.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this store because I believed in its concept and after seeing it live, I think this could be something special.
Bea and Leah with Fabio.