Sunday, March 22, 2009

Glad Day Bookshop — Heart of Queer Culture & Writing in T.O.

Hi there,

Welcome to my blog; you're reading the inaugural post.

I want to take a moment to plug Glad Day Bookshop, the oldest bookstore in North America, and possibly the world. Glad Day was founded by Jearld Moldenhauer in 1970, and has been run by John Scythes in its' current location at 598A Yonge St. since the early 1990's.

The store is a treasure trove of gay and lesbian fiction, autobiographies, historical books, travel literature, magazines... and I could go on. Glad Day is a cultural institution and a Toronto landmark that continues to provide the city's GLBT community with great reading material, movies and porn! Yes, I said porn. Vintage porn, jock porn, kinky porn, twink porn etc... (but no Gladiator porn, as far as I know — somebody once asked me on the phone if the store carries it)

Glad Day is a place where all things queer come alive, and it is truly a magic place, not just a mere bookshop. It is the beating cultural and intellectual heart of Toronto's gay community, a place where our community's multi-coloured imagination comes alive.

The drag queen in glitter and six-inch high heels, the hustler in the tight, torn jeans that showcase his big package, the sloppy blow job under the flickering lights of a Toronto parking garage; they’re all there underneath book dust jackets, waiting to be discovered. Nobody has come closer than gay writers to realizing William Burroughs’ wonderfully apt cut-up phrase, “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.”

You can find out more about Glad Day and what it has to offer here, on the store's homepage.

And also here, in an article from Xtra's Toronto edition which talks about Glad Day's history and the fact that it is now the oldest GLBT bookstore in North America since Oscar Wilde Memorial in New York City closed.

Finally, there's a good piece on blogTO's website about the store from January 2008. You can read it on their site here.

I would recommend the store to anyone who has an interest in queer fiction, history, movies or porn. I have thumbed through what I estimate to be only a fraction of Glad Day's complete stock, and I give it all the highest recommendation. I've posted Glad Day's address and contact information below. The store's knowledgeable staff is happy to help you find what you're looking for.

Glad Day Bookshop
598A Yonge St.
Toronto, Ontario
M4Y 1Z3
Phone: (416) 961-4161

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