Thursday, October 18, 2007

On where to Buy it / Get it

So where do you go to get these Great Queer YA Books?

Your High School Library
Is your school that cool? Is your school librarian empowered to include these books in the collection? If so, that's great! If not, and budget, politics, or homophobia prevent their inclusion, there are LOTS of other ways to get these books into your hands to read...

Your local library
Okay, depending on where you live and how comfortable you are asking for it, the more demand that is seen for GLBTQ books (and by that I mean books with GBLTQ characters and themes) the more librarians and booksellers will have them for us to read, take out on loan, and buy. It’s wonderful if your local public library has a YA librarian, and you could ask them to get the book, or you could leave a note for them requesting it.

Gay /Feminist bookstores
If you gotta own it – give your local gay and/or feminist bookstore a try.

Check out this great list of Gay and Lesbian and Feminist bookstores in the U.S.A, Canada, and the world at The Lesbian and Gay Bookstore Index. Also, note that sometimes you can order from these smaller bookstores by phone and support them.

Local Independent bookstores
Often these have open-minded and gay-friendly souls who can take an order and/or start to stock these books. Think of it as very local activism.

The big guys
Barnes and Noble, Borders, Amazon – it’s great that these stores which are everywhere (and in Amazon[dot]com's case, nowhere) now have GLBTQ sections, and the more demand they see for these books, the more publishers will sit up and take notice. It’s a good sign of how our world is changing for the better.

What about the future?
Is the goal for there to NOT be any gay or feminist bookstores, because these minority viewpoints are so well respected and represented in the major mainstream stores?

I hope not. Gay bookstores (okay, I'm a guy - and while I have the utmost respect for them, I'll admit I don't spend a lot of time in Feminist bookstores) have a special role in the community. They're not a bar, or a club. They're a meeting place, a destination, a place of discovery and community that's safe, and one of the few places frequented by all sexes and gender identities and all generations within the GLBTQ community. I, for one, think that's a critical and wonderful thing to support.

Have your own ideas about what's the best way to get these GLBTQ YA books in your hands? Join in the dialog with a "comment!"




Anonymous said...

My library has a decent selection of queer YA books but the selection is not as great as I'd like.

But, the inter-library loan system has really solved that problem. Virtually every book I've ever wanted but my library didn't have was acquired via inter-library loan. It can take awhile for them to arrive but they do and it's totally worth it to use the service.

So don't just look at your library's card catalog - ask your librarian about ILL!


Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Great suggestion, Denise!