Looking for Love?New Romance Bookstore opens in North Park

A new independent bookstore is opening in North Park, and it’s entirely dedicated to one genre: romance.

Named after the popular trope, Meet the Cute is one of the few romance-themed bookstores in the country. Owner Becca Title is a lifelong reader of the genre.

“It’s the best-selling genre in America. It’s been a long time coming,” Title said. “It’s a billion-dollar industry[a year]. I think people are really underestimating that.”

During the pandemic lockdown, she reflected on her next steps in her career and decided to quit her legal practice to open a small bookstore in San Diego.

Her goal is to create a vibrant space for romantic readers to meet and connect in the books they love.

“In a world where you can buy almost anything online, brick-and-mortar storefronts are really where the community comes together, and that’s what the romantic community is looking for,” she said.

The store will feature decorative displays, which Title hopes and authors are often underrated in the genre. Title said she also hopes to draw more attention to these authors through book clubs and events.

“We’re all fighting for shelf space when you just have a regular bookstore,” says local romance author Susan Lee. Her debut, “Seoulmates,” is set in San Diego and follows two Korean-American protagonists.

For a writer like Li, a specialty store like Meet Cute is important because romance books can stand front and center rather than compete with other genres. This creates more opportunities for display on the bookshelf, Li said.

“Meet Cute has worked to really showcase a diverse book display and products, and I’m very excited about that. I think that’s exactly what we need,” she said.

For a long time, Lee said, people thought romance was a guilty pleasure. She believes that “Meet the Cute” can help change that perception as its readership grows.

“We have a place where we can be proud of the books we read and not apologise for it. And I think if you can do that in a safe space then we can end up in any bookstore, library or public Do it anywhere at the bus station,” she said.

What exactly attracts readers to romance?

For Title, it’s all about the promise of a happy ending. Because at its core, romance is about hope, especially when it’s getting harder and harder to find.

“I personally don’t like being tormented by emotions and then ending up sad. The world is enough for me. So I think it’s a hopeful type, and I think it’s something of great value, especially now, “Title said.

Meet Cute is opening Saturday from 11am to 7pm

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