Barnes and Noble Turf War: Gay & Lesbian Books vs. Cookbooks

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At one time, the retailer had a fully dedicated section for gay and lesbian literature located in a prominent area inside the store. These days, however, customers looking for LGBTQIA books need to travel downstairs and into a back corner where the selection is placed on a few small shelves.

Over at FiPS, NineDaves noticed the the Park Slope Barnes & Noble has changed the placement and display of their LGBTQ section. That once-gay “prominent area”? Now it’s cookbooks. (Unsurprisingly, the PS Barnes and Noble has no shortage of cookbooks.)

I get it though – it’s obviously a business decision. The LGBTQIA audience is much smaller than those buying cookbooks. Barnes & Noble has to look out for their bottom line.

(There’s definitely an argument you could  make about getting rid of special sections for minority interests — if African American lit is a separate section, say, then that reinforces the default definition of literature as “books by white guys” — but that doesn’t seem to be what B&N is doing. The sections are still the same, they’ve just downgraded this one to less prime real estate.)

NineDaves wants the section returned to its pre-30 Minute Meals state. But the cookbooks seem to be selling, and since the store is, you know, a store, I’m not holding my breath.

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