Hello, and welcome to Ask a Bookseller, in which we at Turnaround ask a bunch of questions to various booksellers. Next up we have wife & wife team Charlotte & Fi from the absolutely brilliant Category is Books, a new queer bookshop in Glasgow.
As a queer person who works in books, I was super excited when I first read about the bookshop a few months ago. Especially given that LGBTQ+ spaces have all but disappeared over the past few years. Like our pals over at Gay’s the Word here in London, Category Is Books is doing amazing things for Glasgow’s LGBTQI+ community. As Charlotte & Fi write: We hope to create a space to learn about, be inspired by and share in our love of queer culture, writing, histories and storytelling. And from what I’ve seen of the bookshop so far, they have achieved all that and more – they host poetry workshops and talks, have a really well curated stocklist (big up books from all the Turnaround publishers), and you can buy other rad queer paraphernalia like pins and cards and T-shirts. The shop also has a dog. It just looks really dreamy all round and I wish I lived closer to Glasgow.
A massive thanks to Charlotte & Fi for answering our questions!
What are you reading right now?
Logical Family by Armistead Maupin, Sodom Road Exit by Amber Dawn
Name three books on your reading list?
Chelsea Girls by Eileen Myles, Stonebutch Blues by Leslie Feinberg, Authoring Autism: On Rhetoric and Neurological Queerness by Melanie Yurgeau, and Space Battle Lunchtime: Vol 1 Lights Camera Snacktion by Natalie Riess.
What is the one book you wish you could sell to everyone who walks in your shop?
Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker & Julia Scheele or Volumes 1-3 of Steven Universe.
Do you have a favourite publisher? If so, why are they your favourite?
Both Arsenal Pulp Press and Jessica Kingsley are really committed to publishing LGBTQIA+ content and do so in such important and supportive ways.
What is your current favourite Turnaround book and why? (feel free to name more than one!)
LGBTQ Stats by Bennet L. Singer – because, sometimes when confronted with a phobe of any kind, having facts backed up by figures is a wonderful way to educate.
What kind of books would you like to see more of, and what kind do you wish publishers would stop publishing?
More books for children that challenge gender stereotypes and portray a wide and inclusive range of characters and identities / Anything that gives a hateful, bigoted voice a wider platform to be heard.
What’s the weirdest book-question you’ve ever been asked by a customer at work?
“Do you sell books for straight men?” Answer: Queer books are for everyone!
And finally… favourite book jacket OF ALL TIME?
Gratitude by Oliver Sacks and LGBT San Francisco by Daniel Nicoletta
And don’t forget: if you are a bookseller who would like to answer some of our questions, please get in touch! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @turnarounduk