An Announcement from owners Keith Orr and Martin Contreras
We are proud to have been stewards of Common Language Bookstore since 2003. It has been a privilege and honor to be a part of an important part of LGBT culture both locally and across the nation. There are only about 10 LGBT bookstores remaining in the U.S. and Canada. We have managed to be one of the survivors until now.
The last decade has been especially challenging to maintain Common Language and each year to a greater degree. Sadly, it is no longer possible to continue to fight the market pressures which have challenged the bookstore. As we approach retirement we are no longer able to sustain the bookstore.
It is with great sadness that we announce that we will be closing Common Language Bookstore.
Common Language has a long history in Ann Arbor. The store opened in 1991. Shortly thereafter the store was acquired by Kate Burkhardt and Lynden Kelly. When Kate and Kelly were ready to retire in 2003 from the work of bookstore ownership we purchased Common Language because it was such an important resource to us, and we knew it was a vital resource for the LGBTQA community, as well. We know that this continues to be true, especially in this period of political and cultural upheaval. This is our greatest regret in announcing our decision. Our heartfelt joy is when someone who has been alienated by their family or society discovers the store and realizes there is a larger world out there which accepts them for who they are. Online stores cannot replicate that experience.
So many people have been a part of this journey: previous owners, our customers, our advocates, our community, the fantastic people who have worked at the store over the years. You truly are our friends and Logical Family. We thank all of you for sharing in this journey.
The final day of the store will be December 31st. We hope to sell as much of the inventory as possible. Effective immediately nearly all inventory is 20% off. In mid-November prices will be 30% off. For the final two weeks of the year everything in the store will be 50% off. Please continue to follow us on Facebook. An online presence may remain. While we are happy to continue to take special orders and online orders, the sale doesn't apply to those orders.
“My heart is moved by all I cannot save: so much has been destroyed I have to cast my lot with those who age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.”
The Dream of a Common Language: Poems 1974-1977