Romance Bookstores on the Map

This is a project that’s been in the works for awhile, but it remains useful: the collaborative map of romance-friendly bookstores. With the closing of so many Borders outposts, many people are turning to other bookstores, but the problem with many Indie bookstores is that, to be frank, the people inside them can be snobbish asscheesy hosebeasts when it comes to romance. It’s sad, but true. So where do we shop for romance? Have a look:

View Smart Bitches Buy Romance in a larger map

Want to add your favorite romance-friendly bookstore to the map? We welcome used and new bookstores, as long as they have a good selection of romance and welcome romance readers. Here’s how to add your favorite:

Go to the Map on google.

In the upper right corner of the left column there’s a link to “Save to My Maps.” You’ll need to be signed in to Google to do that, though, FYI.

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Once the map is one of your maps, you can save locations to it – and I hope that you will! Unless you’re a spammer, in which case, you kinda suck.

In the bar at the top, search for or enter the address for your favorite local bookstore. When you find it, click the placemarker on the map to get the window with menu options. Click ‘Save to.’

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(Note:I’m using as an example a local bookstore that’s not on the map that isn’t a romance store. It’s just an example. But: they do stock trade fiction and books like the Evanovich series, though they don’t have a lot of romance, they have an outstanding children’s section, and the owner is among the best people I’ve ever met. She’s made of awesome.)

Select “Smart Bitches Buy Romance” – which should be among your map options since you’ve added it as one of your maps.

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Or, you can follow these instructions which feature slightly different screenshots.

If you’re having trouble, or you are accessing the site from a computer that won’t let you sign in, you can email me or leave a comment, and your favorite store will be added to the map. Happy shopping!

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The Link-O-Lator

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  1. 1
    Kelly L. says:

    Done! Just added my favorite, Village Books in Columbia, MO. New and used, all genres but with a huge selection of romance, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. Plus, friendly owners who don’t judge!

  2. 2
    Lisa Hendrix says:

    Added a hidden treasure, the Covina Book Store (Covina, CA) – a rather non-descript store with a terrific and beautifully curated romance section. It’s right between two of the closing Borders stores (Montclair – which was one of the very best, btw) and Glendale, so I hope it picks up some traffic.

  3. 3
    darlynne says:

    I wish I had a store to add, but I’ll take “snobbish asscheesy hosebeasts” for my word of the day. Awesome.

  4. 4
    Kelly L. says:

    It is awesome—and so true! I’ve been to several indie stores that turned up their noses if I bought fantasy or romance. I’m like…umm…it’s still money in your coffers, whether I buy Great Literature ™ or back-tattoo books!

  5. 5
    senetra says:

    I added two. Books Connection in MI and Book World in IN

  6. 6
    intrépida says:

    Hey, hello from Spain. Many thanks for this great idea, I’ve just added my favourite bookstore in Valencia, my town. If you happen to visit us, this bookstore is a must!

  7. 7
    EbonyMcKenna says:

    Your statement about how some bookstores aren’t romance friendly . . . well it breaks my heart.

    It’s so crazy and counter intuitive – romance makes up 50% of book sales, give or take. Why would they not want to stock things that sell????

    No wonder some bookstores aren’t doing so well. They’re like pubs with no beer.

  8. 8

    I’d love to add more romance to my shop. Right now (it’s a small shop) I have a tiny collection of my favorite Nora Roberts, the Outlander series (I know it’s not Romance with a capital R, and I gave it its own seperate shelf, okay?), and am going to order Joanna Bourne’s books which I recently read and loved. Plus some anthologies.

    Can anyone give me an idea of how much romance makes a good romance section? Who are the authors I absolutely MUST stock (contemporary favorites as well as classics)? To give you an idea, in the “fiction” section I carry hardbound classics (Bronte, Austen, Twain, etc) along with new work by Neil Gaiman, Michael Chabon, etc. It’s an eclectic, tiny store, but I really want a kick-ass romance section! Ideas?

  9. 9
    Lorraine says:

    Yeah, well, what can I say, I’m a giant geek.  Here’s an addition to the map:

    The Bookaneer
    3186 E Thousand Oaks Blvd
    Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
    (805) 379-9667

    Hours:

    Sun Closed
    Mon-Sat 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

    Price Range: Inexpensive
    Credit Cards Accepted: Yes
    Wheelchair Accessible: No, way too small.
    Reviews on Yelp!: The Bookaneer on Yelp!

    Notes from readers: It’s a small store with about half the space dedicated to romance. They have a great selection of old and new books.

    Best thing about it…there’s no shame there, since the lady who runs it loves romance also.

    Fyi—the ladies at The Book Binge[link] http://thebookbinge.com/2009/10/used-book-store-directory.html[/link] also have a listing of used book stores.

  10. 10
    Becky A says:

    Done! Just added my favorite, Village Books in Columbia, MO. New and used, all genres but with a huge selection of romance, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. Plus, friendly owners who don’t judge!

    Kelly your just made our weekend here at Village Books. I’ve tried putting us on the map and failed. Google maps hates me.  *sigh*

  11. 11
    Kelly L. says:

    @Ebony: Exactly! Some stores are like pubs with no beer, or maybe pubs with beer, but they sneer at you if you order it. LOL.

    @Becky: Your store is awesome. :D

  12. 12
    Tammy says:

    Would you please add
    The Book Cellar
    1701 Milton Ave
    Solvay NY 13209
    Great selection of romance of all genres.Nonfiction, Fiction,mystery, westerns and sci-fi.  Can order new and will look for books they don’t have if you
    want. Colleen and Susan the owners are friendly and very knowlegable.
    They Do Not JUDGE you by what you read.

  13. 13
    Diana Castilleja says:

    This one is very romance, open to all and run by two fabulous ladies. They’re also author friendly.

    Book Basket the
    913 Main Street
    Bastrop, TX 78602
    (512) 332-0777

  14. 14
    becca says:

    I can’t get the map to work; all I see is a blue screen.

    doesn’t matter. The only independent bookstores near me is 1) a snooty one,  2) a mystery-only book store (but it’s wonderful for that!) and 3) a GLBT book store. 

    fortunately, the Borders nearest me (Brighton, MI) isn’t closing (yet) and has a wonderful romance section – bigger than the SF section, which is quite respectable. And it’s not hidden in some back corner, either.

  15. 15
    Karin says:

    I guess I must be retarded with Google Maps because I could not add the Paperback Exchange. It’s at 703 1/2 9th Ave
    Belmar, NJ 07719-2733, phone (732) 681-6829.
    Google didn’t recognize the “1/2” address, but even when I took that off it would not add it to the map for me. Anyway, it’s a used book store, everything sold at half off cover price, big historical romance section, also lots of mystery and literary fiction. It’s right near the beach(does Jersey Shore, Snooki or The Situation ring a bell?), so I guess that’s how they survive. People are always looking for a paperback to read on the beach. Credit given for trade ins.

  16. 16
    Kaye says:

    Couldn’t get Google maps to cooperate either – could you add a great romance friendly UBS in Smyrna GA ‘The Book Stop’ deets at

    http://www.thebookstoponline.com/Default.htm

    The owner, Ginny, is a long time romance reader, is very friendly and helpful and loves to talk books.

  17. 17

    Aloha!  I have yet to find a second hand book store that doesn’t love romance!  Most of these stores also sell new books from best selling authors:

    - Jellie’s in Aeia. Hawaii :  A Bohemian style book shop near Pearl Harbor (also sells comics, records, DVDs, etc)

    - Book Rack in Aeia, Hawaii: Well stocked in romance, across from Aloha Stadium

    - Book Swap in Palm Harbor, Florida:  Off US 19, there is also a Book Swap in Carollwood (Tampa) with different owners

    - Almost New Books in Tampa, Florida:  Off Henderson near Dale Mabry; its owners are regulars at the RT conventions.

    - Book Nook in Glen Burnie, MD:  One of the employees previously lived in Hawaii and gave me tips on island living.

    Mahalo, Sarah, for coordinating this effort!

  18. 18

    PS I had some issues with loading the Google Map and then adding my recommendation (I blame the slow internet which marchs to island time).  I had to ask my 13 year old son to help me!

  19. 19
    AJ Larrieu says:

    This is a WONDERFUL idea!  I’ve just added Half Price Books in Berkeley, CA.  Does it count, even though it’s a chain?  I’m not sure there’s anywhere else in the area that’s Romance-friendly except Borders and Barnes & Noble, and both of the Borders in San Francisco are closing down in April.

    @Katie Dickson:  BRAVO to you for not being a snob & good luck stocking your romance section!  (I’d vote for Jennifer Crusie (contemporary) and Nalini Singh (paranormal).)

    Thanks, Sarah, for creating this resource.  You rock.

  20. 20
    Amitatuq says:

    I don’t have a Google account so I don’t think I can add to the map.  I think I’m the only person from my island on this site though so it probably doesn’t matter unless somebody plans to visit! 

    My local bookstore has a great owner, Melony, who keeps a good bit of romance stocked, but also special orders anything you want with no shipping fees.  And she never judges my reading habits!  She’s actually asked me for reading recommendations for others, asked about age-appropriateness on other books (teenagers who read Twilight were suddenly buying adult vampire romance), and in general has always shown interest in what I purchase. 

    Sadly, she does have the bookstore listed for sale but she’s not making any changes.  Basically she’s not going to just shut down or down-size if she doesn’t get a buyer.  I think she’s going to stick around and make decisions about her future after it sells. 

    I would have loved to have owned a bookstore at one point in my life but now my mind just isn’t geared towards business.  And my mom pointed out that she wouldn’t want to own a bookstore right now either with all the e-readers out there.  I have to admit that I’ve been buying less paper books since getting a nook but this has inspired me to support my local bookseller so I think I’ll order that Jill Barnett trilogy from the HaBO from Melony. :-D

  21. 21
    Mary says:

    I also had trouble with adding to the map, there was no such link on the top right (or left). 
    How lucky am I?  We have a dedicated specialty romance boookstore in Melbourne, Rendezvous the Romance Bookstore. 359A Lonsdale St, Melbourne, Australia. Naturally, the staff are not dismissive, they are enthusiasts.

  22. 22
    thekaps says:

    I also did not have a link to save.
    There is a small chain of used book stores here in Massashusetts that have a HUGE section of romance.  This is the one that i have visited.

    Annie’s Book Swap, Annies Book Swap
    28 Boston Post Road E
    Marlborough, MA 01752-3547

    Thanks for entering this.  Regards,  Judy

  23. 23
    Lisa D. says:

    I work in a small, independent bookstore that, to my eternal regret, has a very small romance section. . . BUT we can order anything you want and I think if more romance readers would give the Indie bookstores their business, you’d see bigger romance sections in them.  After all, they were willing to make up a 2010 Best Books display with my picks—all 10 romance.

    If you’re in Birmingham, check out Little Professor.

  24. 24
    SB Sarah says:

    OK folks – I went through and added all the ones you had problems contributing – thank you so much!

    And @Lisa D, I think you are right. If there were more romance readers shopping Indie, more Indies would stock good romances… but I can’t tell you how many people have told me of their really unfortunate shopping experiences at indie bookstores when looking for romance novels. It’s a self defeating cycle.

    So let’s fix it every small step we can – including adding your store to the list of romance-friendly bookstores.

  25. 25
    jillian says:

    my choice isn’t a book store, but a website.  http://www.paperbackswap.com  AMAZING SITE!!  here’s my referral if you’d like to join:  jillybean7682

  26. 26
    Michele says:

    Looking at the map, I can understand why I feel like online is my best option- there is one, yes one, romance friendly bookstore within 60 miles of my house.  And that is sad, because I can name 20 bookstores within 20 miles of my house.

  27. 27
    Sabine says:

    I added my bookshop in Zurich and I hope more non-US Bitches will contribute too:)

    I love the bookshop because (most of) the staff is very friendly and gives great advice if asked and the romance section is smack in the middle of the groundfloor;) though they almost never have the authors I want to read but as they are very happy to order anything for you that’s not really a problem.

    I also added the head company of which The Bookshop is a part of simply for this promotion they did last summer:
    http://s475.photobucket.com/albums/rr116/prettyhairs/Smart Bitches/?action=view&current=DSC03403.jpg#!oZZ1QQcurrentZZhttp://s475.photobucket.com/albums/rr116/prettyhairs/Smart Bitches/?action=view&current=DSC03403.jpg

    How awesome is that?!=D A friend who works in this store says they had a definite increase in customers during that promotion:)

  28. 28
    Sabine says:

    Stupid link got broken so I’ll try again: Here

    Or go to http://s475.photobucket.com/albums/rr116/prettyhairs/ and choose the album called Smart Bitches.

  29. 29
    Gwynnyd says:

    I see only a blue screen on the map, too, until I zoomed out and discovered the map was centered somewhere in the North Pacific ocean.  The pointers are all there, it just needs to be re-centered to your location to see them.

  30. 30
    Jean says:

    Map does not work right with tmy husband’s Window 7 machine. Clicking on the map (once I reduced it enough to see the land mass in the U.S.) for the AZ area said Border’s was what was there. For Romance books I now will go to one of the 3 Half Price Books locations in the Valley or to The Bookstore on 7th Street just north of Dunlap in Phoenix.

    To trade books I have used www,paperbackswap.com for years and it is wonderful! There are almost 5 million books there and you can search by author, title, tag, ISBN and other things I have forgotten. Once you enter your initial books to trade they give you a couple of credits to shop with. If someone orders a book from you then you mail it book rate to them. When they get the book and log it in you get another credit to shop with. If you were to sign up and tell them info-junkie sent you then I would get a free credit to shop with. If you are looking for a book that is not listed then you can add it to your wish list which can hold 200 books and you can set it to automatically order when a book on your list becomes available. If you run out of credits you can purchase extras for about $3.50 each. I think there are more romance books to search through than any other genre but all genres are there.

    Online I go to http://www.fantisticfiction.co.uk to research authors and search http://www.abebooks.com first to buy. Amazon also works and so does http://www.half.com and I know folks who use ebay but I won’t let myself near an auction.
    Jean

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