Nation's oldest gay bookstore announces closure


PHILADELPHIA — The nation’s oldest gay bookstore is writing its final chapter.

The owner of Giovanni’s Room in Philadelphia says he’ll close the doors to the 41-year-old store by the end of next month.

Ed Hermance says he’s been losing money for a long time, in part due to online booksellers like Amazon.

Hermance says he’s been looking for a buyer since August, but has not been able to seal a deal for the business or the small brick building it occupies.

Supporters say Giovanni’s Room served as a resource, safe haven and gathering place for the city’s gay community.

It’s named for the 1956 James Baldwin novel about a young man in postwar Paris struggling with his sexual identity.