Just a little blog about me and mine.

Day 3: Venerable Bookstore to Close in Village February 4, 2009

Filed under: in the news — Katie @ 6:20 pm

So Day 3 of All The News That’s Fit to Blog (and I admit I didn’t even think I would keep at this for 2 days, much less 3) is: Venerable Bookstore to Close in Village. I emailed this article to PL, but wasn’t going to pick it as my article of the day lest my blog become just way too gay–this blog is much more about sarcasm, making fun of people, and boring everyday things than about being gay. Although writing a seemingly controversial gay post yesterday increased my daily readership by 425%–a statistic that, if I’m being honest, speaks more to how few readers I normally have rather than how many more checked in. But still, thanks for reading.

The article reports that New York’s Oscar Wilde Bookstore in New York’s Greenwich Village will soon be closing it’s doors. It is widely believed to be the 1st and oldest gay bookstore in the country. books3 It’s a tiny, cramped store, that in years past, offered both a refuge and valuable source of information for the LGBT community. But long gone are they days when gay and lesbian folk were only able to find representations of themselves in “pulp” novels and self-published non-fiction covertly purchased in drugstores and small bookshops like Oscar Wilde.

It made the cut for today’s post after all for a few personal reasons. One big reason is that PL and I (her more than me) know 2 of the folks named in the article–bringing the grand total of people I’ve actually known in the New York Times to 3 (I’ve met people like Jimmy Carter and John Kerry, but I don’t know them.) When we lived in the Washington, DC area, PL was a bookseller, assistant manager and then manager of DC’s Lambda Rising bookstore mentioned in the article–she has absolutely fabulous stories to tell, just ask. Through that job she met the Oscar Wilde owner Kim and for better or worse, knew Deacon as well. We stopped by Oscar Wilde on a vacation to New York and spent some time with Kim–a feisty lady with spiked gray hair–and I felt like I had known her my entire life after just 5 minutes.

As something of a gay history buff, it’s certainly sad to see it go. It’s partly an effect of the economy, but among the reasons for its demise is that gay folks no longer need to come through their doors in order to get information. That’s a good thing. A freakin’ great thing actually.

As a side note to illustrate that some things haven’t changed: PL and I were talking about how The Advocate and Curve magazines still arrive at our house wrapped in plastic for privacy reasons (it’s sad, but there are plenty of folks with a mail carrier–or wife–that do not need to know what’s in the mail). As of a few months ago, you can opt out of the plastic wrappers for environmental reasons. We did. She said, “I’d rather have my mailman see a magazine about lesbian movies and bands than see that I get something that has to be covered in black plastic.” Right?

So, farewell Oscar Wilde.


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