'Stories Heal and Are Powerful Tools of Connection': Trans and queer-owned bookstore A Room of One's Own--known for Instagram-viral book picks--shares a few for Pride Month and beyond.

Named for Virginia Woolf's 1929 essay, A Room of One's Own feminist bookstore has been a fixture in Madison, Wisconsin, since its founding in 1975.

A Room of One's Own offers a wide selection of current and classic fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, local interest titles, gifts, toys, and greeting cards and builds community and connection through events. It also has strong children's and young adult, women's studies, and LGBTQ+ fiction and nonfiction sections.

While the physical store was closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff produced a series of book recommendation flowcharts--with names like "Haven't Read Octavia Butler Yet?" "Sad Sapphic Reads," and "I Wanna Be Destroyed, Fictionally"--that went viral on Instagram, were featured in The New York Times, and eventually blossomed into ongoing collaborations with the authors and artists themselves.

Amid the anti-LGBTQ+ political climate of 2023, the tiny Midwestern operation has become a resource and hub for advocates, allies, and readers across the country.

"There's so much to say about what Pride means to us as a queer business, how terrifying everything is, how much of how we exist isn't because we're proud, we're just here--and I love people and want them to get to exist, too," says co-owner and manager Gretchen Treu. "Some of it is about providing respite; some is just about spite. It's about helping people find and connect to people who are like them across time and space and experience...

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