Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Glad Day bookstore will close

As the recent article suggests, Toronto's Glad Day bookstore will close.
The question is when.
I was in the bookstore on this past Satruday. It's nice to have a place with a collection of gay books and magazines, I agree, but the problem is it's a product of it's time.
With the internet, the number of gay magazines in print has dropped significantly. Like maybe 10 percent of gay magazines that were publishing a year ago are still publishing now. Another problem is availability. When Glad Day, the world's oldest still standing gay book store, opened gay books and magazines were not available elsewhere. Now a days, I can get gay magazines on the corner of Yonge and St Clair by my office. The question is ethically which one do you support? I like having Glad Day bookstore as a resource, but I also like bringing gay into the mainstream, I like not having to go out of my way to get a magazine.
The main problem is books, as this is a bookstore. The argument is used "who is reading?" but I disagree with that, I think people are still reading. The problem is a book priced at $29.95 costs, at Glad Day, $29.95. At amazon.ca the same book costs $20 and ships to my house for free. Many times I've seen a book I was interested in at Glad Day, writen the title down, and bought it online. I can afford more books if I buy them online.
The final problem is availability. Usually the times I would use Glad Day are when I am interested in a book that is not new, perhaps out of print. I go in and ask, they don't have it. They suggest I consult the internet to look for it.
While I appreciate the idea of having a gay bookstore, I can't see an actual use for it in today's day and age and as such feel that it has lived past its usefulness. The community will rally around in support of the store I imagine, but delaying the inevitable doesn't change the facts...
Give me something to buy there.

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