LES McDonald, owner of Sydney’s iconic The Bookshop Darlinghurst on Oxford St, wants everyone to know the beloved bookstore is not closing down.

In March, McDonald revealed he wanted to retire and sell the business – but would only sell to people who were willing to continue running it as an LGBTI bookshop.

 “If the business closes, the resource and the knowledge will be lost and it would be highly unlikely that it could ever be restored to the same level,” he told Star Observer.

“We have an inventory of 30 years plus, an extensive back list of titles and specialist staff knowledge.”

McDonald was worried that people presumed the bookstore was closing down after he announced his retirement.

“I’m seeking to secure the legacy and future of The Bookshop Darlinghurst by entrusting it to new owners,” he said.

“I’m of an age to retire and have plans to move interstate which would make continuing to run the business too difficult.

“Despite considerable interest, the business has not been sold – though it remains on the market.”

The bookshop has been run for 34 years by McDonald. He believes many people take the shop for granted, but would be quite lost without it as they rely on the shop to have the latest titles or to recommend books or DVDs that they might like.

“Shopping online might be an option if they know what they want but if they want to browse, good luck,” he said.

“If they want advice on what to buy, websites don’t generally offer that and they probably don’t have the staff knowledge to give the correct information anyway.”

The new owners could have the opportunity of adding a cafe to the site, but will also adopt the current staff who are experts on the stock in store.

“In terms of supporting local Australian authors it is also invaluable, and it is one place where many local authors can direct people to buy their books – especially as we also support small press and some self published authors,” McDonald said.

“Most general bookshops don’t have specialist GLBTI sections any longer – the titles are intermingled if stocked at all – also publishers can be coy about the GLBTI content and it sometimes need a bookshop like ours to identify a title as being of GLBTI interest.

“Basically it’s an invaluable resource that the community should be trying to retain – especially as it also tends to operate as a (free) information centre for the community.”

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