There are a myriad of things that make this one of the best independent and specialist bookshops in the country. Apart from being the only one in the UK which solely supplies LGBTQIA works, it is excellently stocked, easy to navigate, and run by Uli, who is kind, engaging, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and very patient. It is not large but it has an enveloping atmosphere of acceptance that makes browsing the shelves a real pleasure; something you hope to find in shops that specialise in a certain type of literature but sadly so often don’t.
The results of my visits were not only this lovely stack of new reading material (some that I’d gone in hoping to find, some that were stickered as recommended and some that were personally suggested by Uli after a conversation about my interests and novel research) but a gorgeous pin badge to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the founding of LGSM.
This purchase was especially pleasing because, if you didn’t already know, the story of LGSM has recently been dramatised in the film Pride and they used to meet in the back room of Gay’s the Word in 1984.
And that was a short history lesson you never knew you wanted! Which was merely my way of illustrating the sense I had, from the second I pushed the door open, that it is more than just a bookshop. Rather it is a place where you can be who you are, think big, find acceptance and learn. It’s a haven, for people and for literature.
So next time you’re in London, pop down there. It’s merely a hop, skip and a jump away from Russell Square tube station and I’m certain you won’t be disappointed. You can also find the shop online www.gaystheword.co.uk and on twitter @gaystheword
Contact details are:
Gay’s the Word
66 Marchmont Street
(020)-7278-7654 (within U.K.)
+44 20 7278-7654 (from abroad)
Oh and if you haven’t seen Pride, may I heartily recommend that you do. It’s not in many cinemas any more but it’s already out on DVD in the US and will be released in the UK on 2nd March 2015. My review of the film is here.