Welcome to Romancelandia: Pilgrimage

By C. Mansfield

There is a world only a few clicks away if you know where to look. A world of desire, love, and friendship. A place where you can share your passion for romance with others. This place is called Romancelandia. And if you are reading this, congratulations! You’ve found us. Now, let us show you around…

Welcome to Romancelandia

Pilgrimage

The consumption of romance is a mostly solitary pursuit. We spend hours alone with our books. And when we do venture out into the world to discuss our books, it’s usually with online friends. It’s easy to stay in one spot and have a rich Romancelandia experience. 

But there are a few places that compel even the most staunch introvert into action. One of those places is, The Romance Bookstore. 

THE RIPPED BODICE

Dubbed the first Romance Only Bookstore, The Ripped Bodice located in Culver City, California was started by sisters Leah and Bea Koch after a successful Kickstarter Campaign. Opened in March of 2016, this amazing bookstore has been providing romance readers from across the world a safe place for lovers of romance to descend upon. The Ripped Bodice quickly became a powerhouse in the industry. With romance being publishing’s darling, a romance only bookstore was a no brainer. The Ripped Bodice is known for its annual The State of Racial Diversity in Romance Publishing Report. This report tracks the publication of romance novels by authors of color and indigenous people. It’s a stark reminder of how publishing actively represses and deemphasizes the work of BIPOC.

Photos Courtesy of ….

LOVE’S SWEET ARROW

For those on the East Coast, a trip to a romance centered bookstore used to mean a trip across the country. Not any longer. Love’s Sweet Arrow opened in Chicago’s Tinley Park in June of 2019 by mother and daughter duo Roseann and Marissa Backlin. Love’s Sweet Arrow has quickly become a popular destination for both romance authors and readers alike. Love’s Sweet Arrow offers a wide array of romance centered activities and events. From author signings to book clubs. They have a selection of signed books from such amazing authors as Jen DeLuca, Melonie Johnson and Suleikha Snyder to name a few. And for those on a budget or who are on the lookout for that discontinued stepback cover, they also sell used books. 

A shelf sponsored by familiar friends!

Photo Courtesy of Linda McConeghy Watson

TURN THE PAGE BOOKSTORE

Not a romance only bookstore, Turn the Page Bookstore is located in Boonsboro, Maryland. Home of the reigning Queen of Romance, Nora Roberts. Owned by her husband, the bookstore boasts an entire section solely devoted to Ms. Roberts. Many readers flock to the town in hopes of catching a glimpse of one of their favorite authors. While many people joke that Nora Roberts owns the town, her family does have deep roots in the community, owning several of the local businesses, including The Inn Boonsboro. The Inn Boonsboro is the setting for the series of the same name. The Inn is charmingly themed with each room being named after a fictional romance couple. 

Photo Courtesy of Kenny Shipley

These bookstores are exciting places where you can meet fellow romance readers, collect old books, and meet your favorite authors. Romance book stores can be some of the best places outside of your own head to bring your favorite romances to life. 

About the Author
Jenny Nordbak earned a B.A in Interdisciplinary Archaeology from the University of Southern California. After graduating, she spent two years leading a double life, working in healthcare construction by day, while secretly working as a Dominatrix at a dungeon in LA by night. Her memoir, The Scarlett Letters: My Secret Year of Men in an LA Dungeon (St. Martin’s Press, 2017), is a candid look into that time in her life. Jenny is an advocate for sex positivity and female empowerment. She writes the Stocks and Bondage column for Penthouse and has been featured as a sex expert on The Doctors. She contributes to Men’s Health and has appeared in numerous publications including Newsweek, Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan, and Redbook. She is currently working on developing her memoir for TV and finishing her next book, a romance novel. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children.

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