Just returned from my neighborhood Barnes & Noble where I bought Mary Cheney’s book Now It’s My Turn: A Daughter’s Chronicle of Political Life, a book I have been looking forward to reading since I first learned of its impending publication. I knew I couldn’t buy it at A Different Light, my local ostensibly gay bookstore, since BoiFromTroy reported that the book “wasn’t available” there. While he did not find books by this openly lesbian Republican (at the “gay” bookstore), he did find books by straight leftist Noam Chomsky*. I have long since stopped shopping at that bookstore since they prominently featured books by another disingenous straight leftist.
As I said in my comment to Boi’s blog, the “bookstore certainly has the freedom to carry whichever books it wants. And I have the freedom to shop elsewhere.” That’s why I went to Barnes & Noble today to buy the book. As usual when I visit a Barnes & Noble, I delight in the diversity of their selection.
Not only did this bookstore carry Mary Cheney’s book, but they also carried books by other thoughtful conservatives like Victor Davis Hanson — and books by blowhards of the left as well as those of the right. I laughed out loud when I read the blurbs on the back of a book whose subtitle, “Voices of Dissent and the Risk of Speaking Out,” suggests a certain left-wing paranoia. I may lament that my critics do not address the arguments I raise in my posts and often deliver broadsides against me (and others on the right), but I wouldn’t even suggest their attacks pose a risk to my speaking out.
Yet, while Barnes & Noble delights in books of all political perspectives, its rival Borders has chosen not to stock the April/May issue of Free Inquiry because that magazine published 4 of the Mohammed cartoons. Now, just as the West Hollywood bookstore, Borders is free to stock whichever magazines it chooses. And I’m free to shop at Barnes & Noble because that bookstore doesn’t let intimidation get in the way of the pubications it carries. (H/t to Tammy Bruce for reminding me of this story on her Talk Radio 790 KABC-AM radio show Saturday.)
I was delighted to learn that Lambda Rising, a gay bookstore I frequented when I lived in the Washington, D.C. area, is carrying Mary’s book. They were even trumpeting that on their front page when last I checked. Kudos, Lambda Rising.
It is a sign of how politicized our gay culture has become that I would offer kudos to a gay bookstore for carrying the book by the lesbian daughter of the Vice President of the United States.
By so politicizing their selection, my local gay bookstore not only loses a sale from the books they refuse to carry, but by making gay conservatives feel unwelcome, they also discourage us from browsing — and gaining sales from treasures we discover while idly looking around. It was in so browsing nearly a decade ago in Washington’s Lambda Rising that I chanced on Robert Hopcke’s Jung, Jungians & Homosexuality, a book with which I was then unaware. I bought it, just as I bought a book by Hanson which I discovered while browsing in Barnes & Noble today (after having picked up my copy of Mary Cheney’s book).
Just like Borders, my local gay bookstore will surely lose business by discouraging bibliophiles like me from shopping there.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com
*I wonder if that bookstore’s owners are aware that Chomsky recently paid tribute to the terrorist organization Hezbollah, whose policies on gays are certainly worse than those of Mary’s father — an outspoken opponent of the Federal Marriage Amendment.