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A sign reading "The Ripped Bodice" in pink lettering.
Photograph: By Megan Kantor

A romance-only bookstore is opening in NYC this month

Here's a sneak peek at the shop before it opens.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Written by
Rossilynne Skena Culgan

Attention, bibliophiles: Your weekend is going to be fully booked. A romance-only bookstore is opening in Brooklyn on Saturday, August 5 with scores of books you’ll want to add to your bookshelf. 

The Ripped Bodice, which opened in Los Angeles as the nation’s first romance-only bookstore, is now expanding to Park Slope at 218 5th Avenue (between Union and President).

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Expect a diverse and inclusive section of romance books, including historical romance novels and LGBTQ+ stories. The Ripped Bodice is also planning a robust calendar of events with author signings, book clubs and writing workshops. 

A view inside The Ripped Bodice with pink-black-and-white flooring.
Photograph: By Megan Kantor

The store’s owned by sisters Leah and Bea Koch. Leah will run the NYC store while Bea will continue to lead operations in LA. An avid DIY-er, Leah Koch is building out most of the store herself with charming display shelves, pink stenciled floors and large-scale art installations made of old books. 

"I love physically putting my stamp on a space and especially challenging people’s notions of what a bookstore should look like," she said in a press release. 

Plush pink chairs with a display of books.
Photograph: By Leah Koch

The store focuses on promoting diversity and inclusion in the romance genre to “create a space where everyone feels welcome and represented particularly the LGBTQ+ community,” she added. 

"After 7 1/2 years of thriving in Los Angeles and quite a long time keeping this a secret, we are so excited to share with our community our expansion to the East Coast," Leah Koch said. "We look forward to building a vibrant community of romance readers and writers in Brooklyn." 

The Ripped Bodice staff in front of a bookshelf.
Photograph: By Megan Kantor

The Ripped Bodice is the latest independent bookstore to open in Brooklyn, joining secret bookstore behind a bodega in Greenpoint, shop in Park Slope spanning the genres, a vintage bookshop with specialty teas in Bed-Stuy, a sustainability-focused bookshop in Greenpoint called Leaves.

The Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID has high hopes for the bookstore to join the neighborhood. 

"The Ripped Bodice will delight our local readers and add to the vibrancy of the neighborhood," BID executive director Joanna Tallantire said in a statement. "We can't wait to browse the shelves and enjoy the many upcoming events in store."

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