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Help Save Women & Children First Bookstore

April 19th, 2007 · 1 Comment · Activism, Books, Business, Chicago, Culture, Feminism, LGBT, Media, News

Women & Children FirstWomen & Children First bookstore here in Andersonville is in danger of closing, possibly before the end of the summer, according to recent stories in the Chicago Tribune and the Windy City Times.

One factor hurting sales at W&CF is competition, of course. Borders Books & Music, for instance, has four locations—all within four miles of W&CF. The Internet is also a significant factor because it’s made book-shopping simple and cheaper, especially for those who know exactly what they want. “It’s extremely hard to compete with [ the Internet ] ,” Bubon said.

W&CF was one of the first Chicago-area bookstores to sell online, and it still does.

“We’re working as smartly and operating as smartly as, frankly, we know how to,” Christophersen said. “We have done everything we can think of to cut our operating costs, including my salary.”

Things have gotten so bad at W&CF that both confirm the store must now plan month-to-month, not long-term. And the possibility that W&CF might close before the end of the summer is very real, they confirmed.

“What it ultimately comes down to is: whether people in the community, and the city as a whole, decide it matters enough that we exist and then make their shopping decisions based on that,” Christophersen said. “We want people’s support, and we need it now. By that we mean, that they buy their books here.

Women & Children First is one of Chicago’s real treasures — one of our last remaining indie bookstores, proudly progressive and supportive of the LGBT community.

And I have a personal interest in supporting them, as they’re the only bookstore in Chicago that has consistently had my book What the Sea Means on their shelves since it was released in 2002. Not to mention the numerous times that I’ve been invited to perform in their annual LGBT Pride Month reading series.

Other bookstores may talk about supporting local writers, but Women & Children First really does it.

Anyway — if you’re in Chicago and haven’t been there in a while, please stop by the store (5233 N. Clark Street) and buy an armload of books.

And if you’re outside Chicago and want to help support this great bookselling institution, consider buying something from their online store. Here’s the link (or just click on the store’s logo at the top of this post):

Women and Children First Books online


One Comment so far ↓

  • Andrea

    What such bookstores provide is a space for readings, events, groups to meet of sort, which you won’t find at a chain bookstore. I lived nearby Left of Center Bookstore on Granville in Edgewater, which was forced to close last year, and listened to many well known writers read and talk about their work.