Oscar Wilde: This spells the end

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Kim Brinster at Oscar Wilde

Yet another bookstore has just announced its demise—and it's not just another Barnes & Noble, folks. It is, in fact, the world's first—and NYC's last—independent LGBT bookstore. Yes, the Oscar Wilde Bookshop will close its doors for good in March. "Unfortunately," said an announcement released yesterday, "the Oscar Wilde cannot weather the current economic storm that has cost so many in our community their businesses and jobs."

Time Out New York profiled the wonderful place in 2007 to commemorate its 40th anniversary, spending some time with the dedicated, lit-obsessed (and very amusing!) owner Kim Brinster, who saved the place from closing in 2006 after she bought it with an inheritance and brought aboard the knowledgeable Cecilia Martin as manager. It was a move much appreciated by the community.

"It's gone from kind of a little dark bookstore with things all over the place and management that didn't keep up, to a very nice, very modern shop," Ron Hanby told us then for our story. He's the LGBT-store liaison for Bookazine, a New Jersey--based wholesale distributor, and he added, "Kim is a pioneer, and God bless her for stepping in and buying it."

Marcy Pierchalski, a regular in the shop since 1969, also sang the place's praises to us. "It's brought me a lot of happiness," she said, "and it's been like a home away from home."

Once she's cleared its final tome from the shelves, Brinster plans to retire with her partner in the partner's native New Zealand—where the two married recently. After all, in 2007, when telling us about her decision to buy the bookshop, she said, "I think at that time I realized there was no other place I'd ever want to work in my life."

Farewell, OW. And thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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