Deacon Maccubbin, founder of Lambda Rising, announced that he and co-owner Jim Bennett, are closing Lambda Rising’s remaining two stores in Washington, D.C., and Rehoboth Beach, Del., at the beginning of next year. Over the past two years stores in Baltimore and Norfolk, Va., were closed. The Oscar Wilde Bookshop, which Maccubbin rescued in 2003, was sold in 2006 to long-time manager Kim Brinster, who closed it earlier this year.
Rather than view the store closings as more doom and gloom in the book business, Maccubbin positions them as a good thing in a press release sent out late last week titled “Mission Accomplished.” Although that phrase has gotten a bad rap in recent years, Maccubbin considers it an accurate depiction of what has happened in the GLBT market. “When we set out to establish Lambda Rising in 1974,” he said, “it was intended as a demonstration of the demand for gay and lesbian literature. Thirty-five years later, nearly every general bookstore carries GLBT books, often featuring them in special sections.” In addition he noted, “35 years is enough time for any person to devote to any one thing. It’s just time to move on.”
About 10 employees will be affected by the two closings. Liquidation sales will begin immediately after Christmas.