An institution for Chicago lesbians and feminists, the Women & Children First bookstore, is up for sale.
Founders and owners Linda Bubon and Ann Christophersen, partners in life as well as work, say they want to retire after 34 years of running the store, the website Shelf Awareness reports. They recently advertised for buyers in Bookselling This Week, noting that the 3,400-square-foot bookstore is “debt-free, and has a great staff, a committed manager, and a dedicated publicist.” It’s located in the Andersonville neighborhood, a diverse, thriving enclave with a large LGBT population and many independent businesses.
Bubon and Christophersen noted that they’re willing to stay on part-time to help a new owner through the transition period, according to Shelf Awareness.
Meanwhile, in Atlanta, another venerable feminist bookstore, 39-year-old Charis Books & More, was vandalized with antigay graffiti last week. Someone painted “Fuck Dykes,” “Eat Mor Dick,” and other graffiti on the store’s exterior after it closed Thursday night, the GA Voice reports. It had hosted an event that night featuring more than 20 LGBT writers as part of its “Stride Into Pride” observance for Atlanta Pride.
“I am from the school that if they are gunning for you then you are doing something right,” store executive Elizabeth Anderson told the Voice. “It means politically you are valuable. To me it means we are doing good work.”
Community support for Charis Books was evident in the wake of the incident; volunteers turned out over the weekend to cover the graffiti with primer so a mural can be painted over it, Shelf Awareness reports. The store also received many donations of money and messages of support. “We are so grateful,” read a post on the store’s Facebook page. “Love and community always rise above hate!”