A couple of days ago a friend of mine gave me some sad news: after more than 35 years of providing a strong feminist voice in Toronto, the Toronto Women’s Bookstore has fallen on hard times (I guess it’s been tough all around this winter!) and is putting out the call for donations. It’s more than just a fundraiser – they are in serious danger of having to close their doors.
As their mission statement says, the TWB is a “source for books on feminist and anti-racist theory, queer theory, transgender rights, disability studies, health, violence against women, and for writing by women of colour, First Nations women and Jewish women… and [carries] magazines, journals and zines that are otherwise hard to find.” We know this is true, because the TWB was supportive of our little mag right from the start, stocking WORN on its shelves from Issue 1.
If it wasn’t for small retailers, willing to take chances on lesser known names and first-time writers – if the bookstore landscape was entirely populated by Chapters’ and Indigo’s – how many creative voices would never be have the chance to speak? How many of your favourite writers and publications would disappear before you had the chance to discover them?