Wednesday, April 25, 2018

An Online Movement Helps Out The Feminist/LGBTQ "Common Language Bookstore" in Ann Arbor, Michigan

I thought this story was great!

On April 16, Dadrielle posted on Tumblr
"I saw a sad facebook post from the gay bookstore back in Ann Arbor where I used to live about how they hadn’t sold any books that day so I went on their online store and bought a couple, and while you don’t get #deals like elsewhere online, I’d love it if y’all would consider buying your next gay book from them instead of like, Amazon."
What happened next?

From the store's Facebook post just two days later:

At last count we had 211 online orders over the last couple of days. We generally have a handful of online orders PER MONTH. And many days our in store sales are 3-5 books. In other words, this deluge is significantly more than we sell in a month. We are literally brought to tears by this outpouring.


Our staff is three people and one dog. And while the dog is, perhaps, the world's sweetest dog, he's not much help in this task. The lack of opposable thumbs is a big hindrance to many bookstore tasks.

Mind you, we are not complaining. Having a surge which overwhelms our current resources is a great problem to have. Heartfelt thanks.

As I take a short break from fulfilling orders I wanted to share a few thoughts.

This is transformative.

We will be able to pay some bills which will steady the ship for a longer voyage. In our wildest dreams this surge would continue, we'd hire more people to handle the load, and the world would have a thriving honest-to-god queer bookstore.

But even if it doesn't continue at this truly astonishing rate, having a regular flow on online orders would give the store a level of security we haven't seen in a long time.

All of you did this. You made it happen. And you can be a part of making that dream come true. In fact, you can be the most important part of making that dream come true. You can be an ambassador.

It was, after all, an ambassador who made this happen.

When a friend talks about getting a book, steer them to us. Our mission is to create a safe space for LGBT people, a resource for a community, a place of equality for women, a place where black lives truly matter, a place where your gender is what you say it is, not what anyone else says it is.

If this is your mission as well, join us.

And on April 20, they posted:

Somewhere around 700 online orders in.

How awesome is that? The community coming together in this way, to give new life and possiblities to this safe space.

Beautiful. Because our world needs a "thriving honest-to-god queer bookstore" — really, we need LOTS of them, in every community!

Thanks to Dadrielle, Kaila Hale-Stern's article at The Mary Sue, Shelf Awareness (where I heard about it), the Common Language Bookstore, and of course, our community!


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