Oldest LGBT Bookstore in America to Reopen in Philly

Oldest LGBT Bookstore in America to Reopen in Philly

- in Top News, National
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Photo: J.D. Thomas/Flickr
Photo: J.D. Thomas/Flickr

After losing the battle with competitors and online outlets in May, the nation’s oldest gay bookstore will reopen in Philadelphia next month.

Giovanni’s Room was forced to close for three months after 41 years due to financial problems.

“At Giovanni’s Room, we’re talking over a well-known and well-loved thing from day one,” Tom Brennan, cofounder and manager at Philly AIDS Thrift said.

Philly AIDS Thrift is a nonprofit organization that operates thrift stores in the city and distributes the proceeds to local organizations involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Proceeds from the bookstore will now also go toward these organizations.

The 3,000 square-foot bookstore will also have some clothes, shoes, pop-art, etc.

“We’re just going to fill the shelves,” Brennan said.

A third of the store will still be devoted to the $15,000 inventory worth of books about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

“The aim is to keep its original vision and focus as a significant part of the store, which is that it’s a bookstore,” Brennan said.

The grand re-opening of the store will coincide with the Philadelphia Outfest, the annual gay block party.

“There aren’t a lot of stores that people love, that have a deep meaning for people and we know that Giovanni’s Room does.”

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