I love bookstores, period. But indie bookstores are especially important. They serve the needs of individuals that the big box stores don’t, and they are usually staffed by people who know and love the books they sell, and can help you find a lot more that speaks to you. They will often order in books that big bookstores won’t, and will try new authors who fit the particular niche they serve. We have a lot of fantastic indie bookstores in Toronto–I think we’re rich in them–including a few children’s bookstores (Ella Minnow and Mable’s Fables); a feminist bookstore (the Toronto Women’s bookstore); a parenting and therapy bookstore (Parent Books); a sci-fi and fantasy bookstore (Bakka-Phoenix bookstore); a mystery bookstore (Sleuth of Baker Street); and a queer bookstore, Glad Day Bookshop.
I love them all, but I think it’s especially important to have a queer bookstore (as well as a feminist one that also stocks queer titles), where we can buy books that other bookstores don’t carry, and be in a friendly atmosphere that encourages us to browse and find new books with queer content. Glad Day Bookshop was up for sale due to low sales, and it might have closed–but according to the Torontoist, a group of about 20 individuals came together to invest in the bookstore and keep it open. I am so glad and grateful to hear that, and you can bet that I’ll be shopping there. Bravo to the wonderful people who stepped in to keep Glad Day Bookshop open!
The Toronto Women’s Bookstore also went through a similar experience recently. I hope feminists and queer people in Toronto and the outer regions keep shopping at these bookstores; I think they’re so important to our community.