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Local bookstores have much to offer the queer community

With Kindles, iPhones and Amazon.com, the way people read is changing faster than ever. The concept of holding a book in hand while quietly sipping a cup of coffee at a local store is foreign to so many, but the bookstore is not done fighting, said Sam Weller’s Bookstore employee Zach Sampinos.

“We’re working to become even more relevant in today’s world too,” Sampinos said. “And I really don’t think that people are going to stop wanting to have a book in hand when they’re at the park or coffee shop. There’s a definite value to walking into a bookstore and finding a book that you can touch and hold.”

Sam Weller’s has several sections to find queer and queer-related books including a gay and lesbian fiction section. There’s also sections for men’s and women’s issues, as well as sexuality in general.

“I hope everyone, regardless of sexuality, can feel comfortable walking into the store,” Sampinos said.

Books written by queer authors, stories featuring prominent queer characters and non-fiction books about queer issues are frequently featured and prominently displayed at the store. Sam Weller’s, 254 S. Main St., also has a coffee shop inside and is conveniently located next to a Trax stop. Its environment is welcoming and a terrific resource for queer Utahns to find a wide assortment of literature.

Independent bookstores offer a level of service and personality that can’t be found online, Sampinos said.

Another independent book store, The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, offers a welcoming environment and a section for gender studies and queer issues. If a book is not carried in stock, it can be ordered through the store.

Both stores feature readings from authors and other events.

Watch for some of the more popular selections, including, It Gets Better, Transition, by Chaz Bono, and Angels in America. For a complete list of all the books, stop by and get to know the local store.

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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