LGBTQ Bookstore to Open in Water Valley, Miss.

Violet Valley's Jaime Harker and Ellis Starkey, from the store's Kickstarter video.

Violet Valley Bookstore, a queer and feminist bookstore with an all-volunteer staff, will have its official opening later this month in Water Valley, Miss., the Daily Mississippian reported. Due to a limited number of available staff, the store will open initially only on Fridays and Saturdays, with an increase in hours dependent on community support. The store will be in a 400-square-foot space that previously housed a textile and quilt gallery. It will carry a "large stock of used books" covering an array of topics, along with a "smaller run of new books" featuring feminist and LGBTQ authors, and is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Jaime Harker, president of the board of Violet Valley Bookstore, told the Daily Mississippian that she has heard "some concern from people in Water Valley about the bookstore," but believes much of it is based on misconceptions about "both the bookstore and the LGBTQ community." She added that such misconceptions are "the reason that a bookstore like this is necessary," and she hopes community members will come to "understand that Violet Valley Bookstore is for everyone."

On October 13, Harker launched a Kickstarter campaign seeking to raise $5,000 for the store; by October 18 the campaign met its goal, and as of today has raised close to $6,500, with 10 days left to go. She wrote, "We are thrilled to hit our minimum, more money means a larger selection of new books once we open!"

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