A Visit to Giovanni’s Room: A Sponsored Post!

I use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker online because if I’m going to screw up a blog post, I want to keep all the credit for myself! Plagiarism’s for dorks!

That’s right kids! This is a sponsored blog post. The nice folks over at Grammarly know that a) plagiarism is played out and b) Mama needs a new pair of shoes. I’m Mama in this case.

While I was attending ALA’s Midwinter conference in Philadelphia, I learned that the GLBT Round Table, of which I am a Director-at-Large, had recognized Ed Hermance, the owner and operator of the iconic bookstore Giovanni’s Room, for his contributions to the LGBTQ community. I had never been to Giovanni’s Room before, so I decided to check it out.

GR_historical_marker_photo_with_flagFirst of all, it’s a big store. In NYC, stores as big as this one usually belong to mega-chains, not independent owners.  Everyone at Giovanni’s Room was incredibly nice, but that was pretty much the case everywhere in Philadelphia. Before I entered the bookstore, I swore to myself that I was taking a break from LGBTQ literature. I know that sounds harsh, but while I did love my time on the Rainbow List (and I look forward to my upcoming term), I felt like I was getting burnt out on LGBTQ fiction.

That was, of course, until I saw the awesome selection of books available at Giovanni’s Room. It was great to see all the Rainbow List and Stonewall Book Awards titles out on display, but also really refreshing to take a look at some books I had never heard of before.

The covers alone made me want these books. But I restrained myself. For a while.
The covers alone made me want these books. But I restrained myself. For a while.

I ended up picking up two books from Giovanni’s Room and I’ve enjoyed every second of them.

First, I picked up a yellowed-and-curling-paged activity book called “Brittany Lynn’s Summer Fun Activity Special”. Copyright 1999, sons! I was still unironically highlighting my hair at that point! Anyway, I don’t think Giovanni’s Room has any more copies, so you’ll have to live vicariously through Miss Ingrid. I saw a couple of other copies on eBay, but that’s it.


I bet you’re wondering what this activity book is all about. Brittany Lynn’s here to break it down for you:

I can’t bring myself to write in and cut up this little treasure quite yet, but Brittany and I have many good times ahead, I can tell:

Oh, Brittany. You *get* me.
Oh, Brittany. You *get* me.

Next, I decided to get myself a graphic novel:

I think I've finally found my preferred superhero.
I think I’ve finally found my preferred superhero.

Behold, Glamazonia by Justin Hall! She’s not one of those boring do-gooder, goody-two-shoes superheros. Glamazonia gets shit done!

Aren’t you just in love?

If you’re ever in Philadelphia, skip that cheese steak crap and head over to Giovanni’s Room. Word has it that the store will close if a buyer doesn’t step up and save it (Mr. Hermance is retiring). I hope it doesn’t come to that, but just to be safe, head on over and buy a bunch of stuff right now.

~Love and Libraries, Ingrid

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