Glad Day opened in 1970 and has been in its location at 598 Yonge St for 27 years. The store has been hit by the recession, admits manager Prodan Nedev, but is still attracting regular customers.
“We’re having difficulties like everyone else with the latest economic thing,” he says, “but we’re still confident with the number of customers we’re getting. We’re not giving up.”
Nedev says Glad Day still draws those looking for a store specializing in queer literature.
“Even though the need for this sort of niche gay and lesbian bookstore is not quite as important as it was and we’re not the only source for this material, people still like to come to us. We still have a lot of selection you won’t find anywhere else.”
Jearld Moldenhauer, who founded Glad Day and sold it in 1991, says gay bookstores fill a need the chains won’t.
“Their commitment is just to the dollar,” he says. “Anything marginal, esoteric is not going to find a place on their shelves. Let’s take a book on gay Muslims, you’re not going to find it on their shelves.”
Nedev says Glad Day tries to compensate for the competition by selling older works through the internet and by hosting appearances by queer authors.
Nedev says the store made the right decision in not moving to Church St when This Ain’t the Rosedale Library decamped to Kensington Market last year.
“If we had moved to Church St we would be gone by now,” he says. “Rents on Church St are so expensive and the audience is so limited. We’re glad we stayed on Yonge St.”