An Interview with The Feminist Bookshop

Good news fellow feminists and book fans akin! The Feminist Bookshop is a brand new independent bookshop and plant-based café opening in central Brighton on the 16th November.

Women writers have often been overlooked amongst a male-dominated literary world, and I for one, increasingly still find bookshops that hold very few female authors’ work on their shelves.

The Feminist Bookshop is an opportunity to combat this – offering an inclusive community space that will boast an array of feminist, empowering books by women and non-binary authors. Feminist bookshops played an intrinsic role in feminism’s second-wave of the 1970s and 1980s. As well as selling celebrated and important work by females, they were safe spaces where ideas would merge and multiply.

We spoke to Ruth, the founder of The Feminist Bookshop, on how the concept came about, what we can expect from the shop and how you can get involved and show your support by donating to their Crowdfunder page.

So how did you come up with the idea behind The Feminist Bookshop?

The idea began when I first moved down here and started running a feminist book club in living rooms around Brighton and Hove. Initially I was just looking to make some new friends and talk about feminism, but it was such an awesome group and so inspiring, that I wanted to take it further. I realised that as the ground floor of my house used to be a shop it could probably be converted back and it just seemed obvious – it had to be a feminist bookshop!

What can we expect from The Feminist Bookshop and Café when it opens?

The idea is to build a community space which is open to everyone. The bookshop will be filled with books by women and non-binary folks spanning across all sorts of genres. There’ll be plenty of children’s and young adult books as well so lots to explore.

In the café we’ll be serving coffee by the amazing Girls Who Grind and have some delicious plant based cakes and pastries.

We’ll also be hosting events including book clubs, poetry nights, life drawing, talks and book signings. So do keep a look out, we’ve got lots of exciting plans in store.

Can you tell us about the crowdfunding page and why it’s needed?

We’ve now got permission to open the shop on Upper North Street but there is a lot of work to do to convert it from a living room back to a shop. The main reason we set up the crowdfunding page is to ask supporters to help us get the funds together for our initial stock. It’s a big investment to fill the shop with amazing books and as we’re a small operation it really helps to have some help from our customers.

Those who would like to get involved can buy tote bags, annual book subscriptions and vouchers to spend in the shop when we open. This will make a huge difference to how much stock we can buy and hopefully we can then open our doors brimming with fabulous books.

Read the full interview here on the Brighton Journal website.

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