Finding love between pages: Inside San Diego’s charming Meet Cute Bookshop

Escape to Meet Cute Bookshop, an all-romance bookstore where diverse voices thrive and inclusive stories unfold
Photo Courtesy of Meet Cute Romance Bookshop
Photo Courtesy of Meet Cute Romance Bookshop

Meet Cute Bookshop — a reader’s oasis where book pages dangle from the ceiling so delicately that they appear to be floating. 

Countless shelves of romance novels line the white walls of the store, ready to transport you into a world where happily ever afters have no boundaries. 

In the heart of North Park, San Diego, nestled between coffee shops and indie boutiques lies a queer-owned, feminist bookshop focused on anything and everything romance. Since its opening in the fall of 2022, Meet Cute Bookshop has become the spot for readers looking to explore the romance genre in a diverse and inclusive space. 

“It’s a bookstore focusing on romance and highlighting often marginalized voices in the romance community,” Becca Title, the founder of Meet Cute, said. 

Title’s passion for romance has led her from the legal world to the warm embrace of the lilac purple bookstore. 

“I read pretty broadly, but I have consistently read the romance genre my whole life,” Title said.

Becca Title, founder of Meet Cute, standing in front of their iconic mural reading “Greetings from Roamance-Landia” / Photo Courtesy of Meet Cute Romance Bookshop

After five intense years as an immigration defense lawyer (and briefly working as a speed dating host), she decided it was time for a change. 

“I wanted to come back a little closer to home and maybe try something a little bit less emotionally intense,” she said. “So that’s how I ended up opening a bookstore.”

Meet Cute boasts an extensive and impressive collection, including subgenres ranging from contemporary, historical, paranormal and fantasy romance to science fiction, young adult and mystery love stories. 

Enemies to lovers? They have it. Grumpy and sunshine? Plenty to be found. Second-chance romance? Definitely in stock. There’s even a display dedicated solely to hockey romances.

Meet Cute is a romance reader’s dream.

For employee Natalie Jadwin, who graduated from San Diego State back in 2019, Meet Cute is a love story beyond the books. Jadwin had been shopping at the bookstore since it opened, but just recently joined the team, and she couldn’t be more excited.  

“I love it here,” Jadwin said, smiling. “We have really good customers. Romance, specifically for people who identify as women, is so empowering to see themselves in a way that they maybe can’t imagine. Or just to come in with their friends and not be ashamed about it in any other way.”

The bookstore shines a spotlight on its expansive range of authors and stories, offering a platform for voices that may not have been on the radar of many.

Emphasizing the significance of diverse representation, the store is committed to showcasing authors who bring unique perspectives. In contrast to larger retailers like Barnes and Noble, this bookstore has the ability to bridge gaps, making a wide array of authors and stories accessible to anyone eager to explore the world of romance books. 

Kyra Purgason, an SDSU graduate, has worked with Meet Cute since the shop’s debut. 

“It’s so much fun. I love that people can come in and ask unhinged questions and get book recommendations,” Purgason said. 

Meet Cute thrives on creating a safe and welcoming space for customers, whether they’re veteran romance readers or taking their first steps into the genre. 

While customers can live a thousand different lives and fall in love a thousand different ways within these novels, Meet Cute isn’t just a place to purchase books — it’s a hub for clubs, events and celebrations. It’s a space to connect with a community that shares the same emotions and adventures living in just 300 pages. 

Meet Cute hosts author events in the store (yes, with signed books) and has three different book clubs, with each meeting once a month in the shop. 

They also have a podcast where virtual events are broadcasted, or where Title talks to authors involved in romance publishing. Between chatting with renowned romance authors to throwing book release parties, their calendar is filled with ways to join the club of romance enthusiasts. 

In the midst of the bookshop is a cozy sitting area, and it happens to be the undisputed gem of the entire store.

Inside of Meet Cute / Photo Courtesy of Meet Cute Romance Bookshop

Customers can fully surround themselves with the literary wonders of the store, finding solace in the reading, shopping the romance-themed pins and mugs or simply absorbed in the vibrant atmosphere of “Romance-Landia.” 

There’s even a gumball dispensary filled with little plastic balls that hold quirky 25-cent conversation starters in support of the national network of abortion funds, a partnership with “No Wrong Answers.”

It’s the perfect place for readers to have their very own “meet cute” moment. 

Whether you’re in the mood to laugh, cry, get butterflies or feel all those at once, Meet Cute Bookshop has you taken care of. Maybe you’re ready to journey into the world of fantasy and sci-fi. Or maybe you just need a good book to escape into. 

Reading romance doesn’t have to feel taboo. Find your happy place at Meet Cute. 

“Meet Cute is a second home to me,” said Brianna Zantman, an SDSU graduate and customer. “There’s a lot of discourse that America doesn’t have places that are that second home, and it’s really rare to find that. This is for sure my second home. I’ve become friends with all the booksellers and the book club community is so fun here. I’ve created so many new friendships just from our connection to the bookstore. It’s such an empowering and inclusive place to be.”

To delve deeper into the world of Meet Cute and ensure you’re among the first to know about their upcoming events, follow their Instagram and TikTok

About the Contributor
Isabella Dallas, Senior Staff Writer
Originally from San Jose, California, Isabella is currently in her third year at San Diego State University. She is pursuing a major in Journalism, with a minor in Creative Writing. While starting her third year at The Daily Aztec as a Senior Staff Writer, Isabella has discovered her love for covering cultural events and topics with artistic aspects and aesthetic influences. She writes for the Arts and Culture section, where her favorite pieces focus on live music, pop culture, fashion, and differing lifestyles. She can also be found writing about TV, books, and her many other obsessions. When Isabella isn’t sitting at a coffee shop writing articles or reading a new book, you’ll find her devouring the latest issues of Vogue and Rolling Stones. Her only life goal is to one day interview Harry Styles—any leads are gratefully welcomed.