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The new LGBTQ online book shop catering to queer readers

Queer Lit founder Matt Cornford wants to make LGBTQ titles more accessible to readers across the UK and Ireland.

2020-10-01

If you're one of the many people who've been picking up a book more frequently during these socially-distanced days, a new online LGBTQ book shop may be just what you need to find the best queer titles.

Queer Lit, which carries over 700 fiction and non-fiction LGBTQ titles from some of the world's biggest queer authors, was set up to make access to LGBTQ literature easier for people in all parts of the UK and Ireland.

While London's iconic 'Gay's the Word' book store has catered to readers in the capital for more than 40 years, for many people, finding LGBTQ-themed reads remains difficult. 

Explaining what prompted him to set up the virtual book shop, Queer Lit's managing director, Matthew Cornford, says: "Like many people I love a good book and wanted to discover more queer literature

"After heading into a store in Manchester describing itself as 'the biggest book shop in the North', I was shocked to be told 'We don’t have an LGBTQ section. You’ll need to go home and search the internet for gay books then come and find it in its relevant category'.

Matthew Cornford set up Queer Lit after struggling to find dedicated LGBTQ book sections in established shops

"This just wouldn’t do… and the idea for Queer Lit was born."

As well as being a book shop, Queer Lit has been designed as a community space for avid readers, where users can discuss and review the latest books, listen to queer podcasts and engage with authors.

Cornford, who has worked in retail management for more than 15 years, continues: "I didn’t want to just create an online bookstore. I wanted to create an immersive experience with everything Queer Lit.

"Even living in Manchester, which has a vibrant gay community, sadly there are still people who feel they cannot be open about who they are, or some are still on that journey of discovery.

"So I wanted to create a welcoming space where people can not only read about issues and characters that reflect their lives and experiences, but discuss it, and be inspired."

You can check out Queer Lit for yourself at queerlit.co.uk.