Fare Thee Well, Lambda Rising

It was with a mixture of joy and sadness that I entered Lambda Rising a few days before Christmas. The joy is nothing new—kids in candy stores have nothing on me in a bookstore. But the sadness comes with the knowledge that as of the beginning of the year, Lambda Rising will be closing its doors.

Established 35 years ago in Dupont Circle, the bookstore became known as the preeminent source to purchase gay and lesbian literature, decorations, cards, and jewelry, among other novelties. Expanding to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware—my almost-hometown!—only increased Lambda Rising’s credibility as a popular yet serious source for gays to shop and, more importantly, to come together as a community.

But I’ll get down to the details. My mission was simple: I had a handful of gifts still to buy, and I had no idea what to get. While contemplating rainbow dishes and, of course, an inspiring array of novels, I almost derailed at the jewelry counter. I forced myself away from the counter and headed to the back to check out the greeting cards, where I found the perfect gift for the alcoholic in my life: a card picturing Auld Lang Syne in the shape of a martini glass. And what foodie wouldn’t love a fifties-style card exclaiming, “Yes! Get pickled and relish the holidays!”

More than a quirky and inspiring place to shop, however, Lambda Rising has offered incredible opportunities to an otherwise marginalized audience while also providing the cozy feel of a local bookshop. The ability of a bookstore to unite otherwise disparate elements of a community never ceases to amaze me, and that is why I am proud to support local bookstores. To the owners and staff of Lambda Rising: we are sad to see you go, but we wish you all the best in your adventures in both life and literature.

Lambda Rising Bookstore is located at 1625 Connecticut Ave., NW. Don’t miss the opportunity to get some great discounts and see the shop off in style by stopping by; store hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Categories: Bookstores & Events

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