The Oscar Wilde Bookshop in New York City, the nation's oldest gay and lesbian bookstore, has been sold and will remain in business under new management, its new owner said. Deacon Maccubbin, owner of Lambda Rising Bookstores, based in Washington, D.C., said he bought the store two weeks ago for an undisclosed amount, The New York Times reported. The store's previous owner, Larry Lingle, said last month that he would close the shop by the end of January because it was losing money in its struggle to compete against large book chains. "We think this store is way too important to let it close," Maccubbin said. "It is more than a store; it is a part of our history."
The Oscar Wilde Bookshop opened in Greenwich Village in 1967 with several dozen books on its shelves. It expanded as the gay rights movement in New York gained momentum and soon became the inspiration for other bookstores devoted to a gay and lesbian clientele. The bookshop is one of only two gay bookstores remaining in New York. The Lambda Rising chain operates bookstores in Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; Rehoboth Beach, Del.; and Norfolk, Va.