Here is a rainbow colored array of LGBTQIA+ themed and queer owned and operated brick and mortar bookstores all around the globe that you can check out during your next bookstore hopping trip.
1. The Ripped Bodice
I first discovered this bookstore via their IG page and obviously had to feature it here. It’s an exclusively all romance store with two owners who have been lifelong romance readers with a keen eye and passion for all things romance at its helm. Opened in 2016 via a successful Kickstarter campaign and owned by sister duo Leah and Bea Koch, the shelves of Ripped Bodice feature a vast, diverse selection of romantic fiction and gift items, all of which support women and queer authors in the indie genre. The sisters also run a side project that includes teaming up with Sony Pictures TV to develop TV projects based off romance novels. In the mood for romance? Then make sure to drop in!
2. Gin Gin Store
The first LGBTQIA+ themed book store that’s opened up in Taipei, Taiwan has obviously had its fair share of legal battles and prejudice but its owner continues to operate the store with a smile. Now that’s what we call perseverance! The bookstore invites visitors with an endearing rainbow colored flag and butterfly lanterns with pink signs and equally pink shelves which are full of books, art and even tank tops.
3. A Seat at the Table Books
If you want a seat at the table than look no further than Elk Grove’s family owned bookshop that doubles as a cafe and community hub that is open six days a week with the sole purpose of providing upliftment to the community and smashing the kyriarchy (a social system that has led to oppression, privilege or prejudice within the community), all through the power of books and coffee. Now that’s something we could definitely get behind! Events ranging from blood drives and reading circles for high school students are held at this venue and its stacks are also filled with books highlighting Black excellence and history, staff picks, indigenous authors and a lot more and don’t forget to stick around for their family movie nights.
4. Little Sister’s Book and Art Emporium
This Vancouver store’s legal battles, such as a long-winded customs prejudice holding up shipments which have even led to its legendary status after being the inspiration behind the 1999 movie Better than Chocolate. It is an integral and historical part of Vancouver’s gay scene and you can’t miss it with its giant neon sign decorating the entrance. It all leads to a store full of books, magazines and even toys.
5. The Yellow Bookshop
Bookworms, poets and artists call this little yellow bookshop as their home away from home and it is indeed a safe haven for its LGBTQIA+ occupants too. The goodies on offer here include cute handcrafted book boxes, stickers, handpainted bookmarks, novels, books and a Pride month sticker pack. To order their specialty items, one can even reach out to the store via DM on Instagram.
6. The Bookshop Darlinghurst
Situated in Sydney, this is a really festive bookshop as it features an in-house DJ for Mardi Gras related events and even an in-store sexy Santa come Christmas! Shirtless models add a raunchy touch to the book signings and the shelves are stocked with an array of LGBTQIA+ themed books as well as goodies such as Aussie specialties, trinkets, the latest in gay fiction and a salivating sexy bear calendar too!
7. Category is Books
UK’s second LGBTQIA+ themed bookshop after Gay’s the Word in London, this bookstore in Glasgow, Scotland is run by lesbian partners and features a comfy atmosphere while playing host to events ranging from workshops and even a once a week haircut session!
8. Prinz Eisenherz Buchladen
Situated in Schrenberg in the heart of Berlin’s gay district, this store’s name translates to Prince Valiant, i.e. The gayest, most flamboyant comic character in comic book history and it is Berlin’s first LGBTQIA+ themed bookstore. Running for the past 40 years since its establishment in 1978, it is not only a bookstore but a symbol of progress, representation and a voice for its visitors. From erotica to serious fiction, travel and children’s literature, its shelves are stocked with genres that will appeal to its LGBTQIA+ audience or even someone who might wish to add to their knowledge about the community itself.
We hope that you’ll get the opportunity to visit at least one of these shops and continue to show support and be an ally towards the community. Until then, continue reading and stay tuned for more at Adore! (P.S. We also have an Instagram that you can follow for more updates)