Reviews from the road: Charis Books, Atlanta GA

I visited Charis Books in Atlanta Georgia, at the suggestion of many of you readers. It’s located in the Little Five Points Neighborhood, which is a cute area with big old houses and windy tree-lined streets. The little downtown area has a Berkeley feel to it, with thrift stores and coffee shops. Charis Books has it’s own building, painted light purple in true 1970’s feminist fashion. Charis self-identifies as an independent feminist bookstore and you definitely get that sense from spending some time there.
Not surprisingly, I loved the store. I was immediately drawn to the displays in the front, with new books, including a section dedicated to new lesbian fiction. I knew I would like the place when Alison Bechdel’s The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For was one of the week’s top sellers.
The store has a large collection of books with a strong emphasis and feminist and lesbian lit. One thing I appreciated was that the fiction section was integrated–both lesbian and non-lesbian fiction were shelved together. They also had a great LGBTQ young adult section (I have a secret obsession with YA LGBTQ lit).
They host an impressive list of feminist authors and have great writers workshops and events at the store.
Charis has been around for more that 30 years, an impressive accomplishment for an independent bookstore. It definitely does have the feel of a 1970s feminist business–particularly with the emphasis on lesbian lit alongside feminist lit. While I would say that feminists today don’t equate feminist with lesbian anymore, there is something for everyone at Charis Books.
They’ve got an online store, so if you want to support a local feminist business, you can browse the store by section online and purchase something.
Keep an eye out for an upcoming review of Aphrodite’s Toy Box, an Atlanta sex toy store!

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