Utne Blogs > Literature

Feminist Bookstore Revives

 by Lisa Gulya


Tags: books and publishers, feminism, independent bookstores, feminist bookstores, Amazon Bookstore Cooperative, Minneapolis, City Pages, Metroblogging, MinnPost.com,

open signAnother feminist bookstore nearly disappeared this month: the Amazon Bookstore Cooperative in Minneapolis. As it turns out, Amazon will no longer be a co-op, but the bookstore will stay open. “After surviving the invasion of chain bookstores, weathering the shift toward digital media, and body-slamming Amazon.com with a lawsuit, did you honestly expect anything else?” writes the Twin Cities alt-weekly City Pages. Well, yes, actually. Amazon owners and patrons expected the store to close by June 30, and several articles eulogized Amazon in the past few weeks. 

The store’s savior is Minneapolis resident Ruta Skujins, reports Minneapolis Metroblogging. Skujins, according to MinnPost.com, is an editor at the lesbian publishing houses Regal Crest Enterprises and Intaglio. (Ironically, the first link for “Ruta Skujins” that popped up in a Google search was her Amazon.com profile. On the bright side, the page lets curious patrons peek at the new owner's taste in books.) 

Skujins looks to have the necessary business sense to make Amazon thrive, and plans to transform it into a neighborhood spot in addition to being a home for the feminist and lesbian communities. (She hasn’t ruled out a name change for the store, either.) I stopped by Amazon last Friday, and the neighborhood was hopping—a family getting ice cream before strapping the toddler into a Burley, 20-somethings chatting over wine and appetizers at the corner café, hand-holding couples taking a walk around the block. If Amazon can become an inviting community space without losing its feminist personality, it could have a long life ahead of it.

Image by anonfx, licensed under Creative Commons.