Reading into the rise of the romance novel


The romance section at Porter Square Books keeps moving.

First the titles were scattered around general fiction. Then the section became a few shelves near mystery. Now it spans several bookcases at the front of the store — a place of honor.

Over the past few years, independent bookstores have begun accommodating more romance novels, finally giving due respect to a genre that has long been a top seller for the industry.

Last year, Brookline Booksmith rebuilt its dismantled romance section and An Unlikely Story in Plainville created its first romance section (the books had previously been shelved around the store). In June 2018, Harvard Book Store hosted its first romance event for Jasmine Guillory’s debut, “The Wedding Date,” a contemporary tale about two people who arrange a fake date that, of course, leads to more. In February, Acton bookshop Silver Unicorn hosted an all-romance pop-up store in Somerville’s Bow Market.