A Historic Chapter Closes…

A few hours ago, I learned that Giovanni’s Room, the only remaining LGBT bookstore in the United States, is closing its doors.

To say that I AM not thrilled is a gross understatement.  By the way, I no longer wonder why I have high blood pressure, but I digress.

I have decided to make it easy for everyone and transcribe the broadcast Email that Mr. Ed Hermance, the owner of Giovanni’s Room, sent out a few hours ago.


I regret to announce that our beautiful store is closing before the end of May.

Among Philadelphia’s earliest LGBT institutions, Giovanni’s Room has served many thousands of people not only in this region but across the nation and around the world.  Many of those people have expressed support for the store this past year, after the announcement that the store was for sale.

A number of people were interested in taking over the operation, though they knew the store has not made a profit in a number of years.  In the end, though, I did not think that any of the offers were realistic.

It has been a wonderful life for me.  It has been wonderful to work for people who love this store so much.  I want to thank the hundreds of people who have worked in the store, both the salaried and the volunteers.  Above all, I’d like to thank Skip Strickler, the dean of the staff, and Richard Smith, the dean of the volunteers.  Each has worked in the store for more than thirty-five years.

I thank the thousands of customers, who have been our reason for being.  I know we have helped a huge number of people in untold ways.  and they have successfully helped the store when it was threatened.

The prospective closing date is Saturday, May 17, 2014.  Everything in the store will be on sale at 25% off beginning Wednesday, April 30, 11:30 am–except for the books by the many authors who will be reading in the store before May 17.

Media are invited to a press conference on Tuesday, April 29, 7PM.

Thanks for your consideration,

Ed Hermance




I AM too much of a bibliophile to be OK with this change, and this store’s closing.

And yes, I know, change is good and all that rot!

Nonetheless, lately I have been experiencing a mountain of Thankfulness.  And I AM most thankful that I have had so many previous opportunities to go to Giovanni’s Room in the past, and I AM most thankful to be open and receptive to new opportunities to go back to Giovanni’s Room before Saturday, May 17, 2014.

If you have never been to Giovanni’s Room (located at 345 South 12th Street [at the corner of South 12th and Pine Streets in Center City, Philadelphia], Philadelphia, PA  19107), then you have exactly two weeks and three days to make that happen, as of Wednesday, April 30, 2014.

In the meantime, thank you, Ed Hermance, for honoring who we are and what we do.




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