Where have all the gay bookstores gone?

Earlier this year, I wrote a quick post about the demise of LGBT bookstores after reading Queerty’s article,The Last Chapter: A Look At LGBT Bookstores Around the World.

Not too long ago most large cities had a collection of LGBT bookstores, but over the years, most of these have closed.  Truth be told, I’m not much of a shopper, but I’ve always enjoyed nosing around a neighborhood bookstore and have visited a few of the places featured in the article.

After my initial post, several people made suggestions to the list of LGBT bookstores still in operation.  I wanted to give Boston’s Calamus Books a shout out and promote those remaining stores that serve our community.  If you live in one of these towns or plan on visiting – consider showing your support and making your next purchase of books, cards, DVDs or magazines there.

LGBT bookstores listed by city:

Amsterdam – Vrolijk  Ann Arbor – Common Language Bookstore  Atlanta – Outwrite  Boston – Calamus Books  Chicago – Unabridged Bookstore  London – Gay’s the word  Melbourne – Hares & Hyenas  Paris – Les Mots a la Bouche  Philadelphia – Giovanni’s Room  Provincetown – Now Voyager Bookstore  Sydney – The Bookshop  Vancouver – Little Sisters

Share this post or the information provided above on your facebook page. If you live near one of these places; not only check them out but bring a friend along as well.

9 responses to “Where have all the gay bookstores gone?

  1. Speaking of gay bookstores where can I sell my book? I just wrote one and wanna really market the gays with it :)

  2. Sorry to report that we were in Provincetown over New Years and Now Voyager in no more.

  3. Ebooks are killing every brick and mortar. I’ve made the jump over and can’t say I regret it. Having ALL my books available on one device is just too good to pass up.

  4. I think when we talk about gay bookstores, too much emphasis is placed on the books and how Amazon has killed book sales but that is only a part of their demise.

    First, it was a sense of safety, belonging and community. A place you could actually see and meet gay people, probably for the first time. A place to learn about politics and activism. Gay bookstores filled much bigger needs than buying a book and that is what made them a destination.

    Second, porn. Here is where you got your magazines and other umm..necessities.

    Third, were gay or gayish gifts, cards, novelties, STICKERS! and more.

    As homosexuality came out of the closet and more mainstream, gayborhoods thinned, moved or disappeared. And that is when the need of a gay bookstore really ended. The same thing for similar reasons is or has happened to Gay Bars, Gay Dance Clubs and such. You can’t miss or wax nostalgic for something you’ve never had or experienced and only hear about from daddies and see in the movies.

    BTW: Outwrite just closed, NYC still has a few including Rainbows and Triangles, and I’m sure there must be one in San Fran and a few other US cities What about Germany and Brazil?

  5. I think Tim is partly right in his assessment that most “brick and mortar” bookstores will eventually be replaced by online merchants. It’s my hope that, eventually, the “gay community” will be absorbed and acclimated into and within the community at large. “Gay bars” will just become “bars” and “Gay bookstores” will be known only as “bookstores”.

    • No thanks, That just sucks, I want to go to a gay bar and I want a gay section in the book store. Its really a lot more fun.

      • i think its also separated for ease of finding. ive been to bookstores that just toss gay fiction in with regular fiction, and you need a team of spelunkers to find a single title.

  6. I think the real issue is – where have ALL the bookstores gone? Thanks to the ease of buying books online, and new technologies, actual physical bookstore locations are no longer necessary.

    The OutWrite bookstore in Midtown, Atlanta just closed this month after being open for 18 years. I am a fan of just wandering the aisles, grabbing a cup of coffee and making an impulse book purchase.

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