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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

‘Not everything needs to be serious reading’: Local romance bookstore offers readers unique escape

When customers walk into Blush Bookstore, they are greeted by a brightly-lit space filled with pink and white furniture. Jaclyn Wooten offers a one-stop shop for more than just books – customers can find crochet tote bags, stationary, flowers and other gifts artfully displayed.

Readers can find the store on Cleveland Street, next to Viola’s Pantry and The Workroom.

“It used to be (that) reading romance was frivolous, and it was kind of silly,” Wooten said. “Not everything needs to be serious reading.”

The avid reader shared her motivation for opening Blush after running several successful online businesses.

“Romance books make up such a large part of the market,” Wooten said. “And in a lot of bookstores, they serve a really great purpose, but it’s not necessarily celebrated.”

Wooten said that she created Blush Bookstore to allow romance readers to enjoy the genre without the stigma that often accompanies it. She cited a personal experience where a bookstore employee told her it was “refreshing” to see a woman buy a novel other than romance when she purchased a fantasy novel for a change.

“I do really love this unapologetic-ness that we have now (at Blush),” Wooten said.

Wooten stocks the store with a wide array of titles, from contemporary authors like Emily Henry to the ‘romantasy’ sub-genre.

“I read all the different genres within romance, but I do love that romantic element,” Wooten said. “It’s just an escape. It’s … the familiarity from one book to the next. Really, I think there’s a comfort in that.”

Three titles Wooten recommends are “Book Lovers” by Emily Henry, “Crescent City” by Sarah J. Maas and “Once Upon a Broken Heart” by Stephanie Garber.

Those interested in visiting Blush can find the store on Instagram, TikTok and at the store’s official website. Wooten encourages readers to keep an eye on the store’s social media for upcoming events and releases.

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About the Contributor
Salsabila Attaria
Salsabila Attaria, Arts and Culture Editor
Salsabila Attaria is the arts and culture editor for The Sunflower. Attaria is a health science major.  She previously worked as a reporter and assistant news editor. She uses she/her pronouns.

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