Tuesday, July 5 is officially Read Naked Day. We have no idea if Glad Day Bookshop has anything planned (they do host the Naked Boys Reading in their even space) but they can certainly help you find the right book for the occasion.
Glad Day is, at 35 years, the world's oldest gay bookstore and for most of those 35 years it has, like most bookstores, struggled for financial survival. However it is on an upswing - sales are up 30 percent in the last four years - and wants to take advantage of that momentum by moving to a more inviting location. Their current location, up a steep flight of stairs at 598 Yonge Street (just north of Wellesley), has charm and history but sales would definitely benefit from the ability to have walk-in sales as well as being accessible to all.
To this end Glad Day sent out a survey to customers, readers and social media survey junkies, and came to the conclusion that a new space would definitely boost sales. They want to keep a performance space (the current one, up another flight of stairs, is home to the Naked Heart festival, rehearsals, workshops [Gash!, Komunka], parties, readings [with the accent on Naked Boys Reading], art shows, etc) but add a coffee bar (or preferably a wet bar), an outdoor patio, etc. They also want to start selling, as is the bookstore trend, more lifestyle products (besides porn) and a line of fashionable t-shirts have already done well.
Respondents first choice for a location was around Church and Wellesley which is still a few condos short of losing its status as the Gay Village. and, rumour has it, at least Glad Day's Michael Erickson has hinted broadly, that an ideal spot in the Village has been found. However a move is expensive, Village rents are expensive, so Glad Day Bookshop has set up an Indiegogo page - indiegogo.com/projects/glad-day-bookshop-the-big-move#/ - to get the community involved and to pay the, inevitably hunky and preferably scantily-clad, movers: books are heavy, the stairs are steep, there will be sweat.
Church Street could use a boost in its gay quotient, Glad Day could use access to more gays, its win win. And if you can't contribute moving moola, feel free to drop by anyway and get some reading material for Read Naked Day, you'll want to be caught with your pants down.