And NO, I'm not talking about THOSE bookstores (they seem to be doing just fine - not that I would know...)
Towleroad reported this week that A Different Light bookstore (above) in Los Angeles will close after 30 years. Two weeks earlier, Towleroad reported that the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop in NYC (the nation's oldest operating GLBT bookstore) will close it's doors on March 29.
This is so sad. When I first came out of the closet I loved going to gay bookstores (read my post about Philadelphia's Giovanni's Room - which is still in business - HERE). Gay bookstores always seemed like such a positive environment (as opposed to the bars) - and you never woke up with a hangover after visiting one. You could cruise for hot smarties (or smart hotties) and didn't have to buy expensive cocktails. Oh ... and there were BOOKS there too!!!
There used to be a Different Light branch in NYC - and when I was young I went there all the time. It closed a few years ago, and soon their San Francisco store (and their website) will be the only locations left.
I walked into Oscar Wilde (below) recently and nothing had changed. It was still small, and some of the same books I bought at gay bookstores in the past (Faggot by Larry Kramer, Dancer From The Dance by Andrew Holleran, and Best Little Boy In The World by Andrew Tobias) still line those shelves today. Back when I was young, you could ONLY find these books at a gay bookstore.
Nowadays, everyone buys everything online or at some Supercenter, so bookstores of all persuasions have been dropping like flies. It's just so sad that the bookstores that helped gay boys like me feel better about themselves have to meet the same fate.