If you stop by Aesop’s Bleecker Street location in Manhattan this week, you won’t be greeted with skin serums and shampoos. Instead, you’ll enter a library stocked with books by queer authors. The ingredients-based brand has transformed three of its retail locations, including the one in New York’s West Village, into a literary dream space. The library carries over 150 authors and 6,000 books that were thoughtfully sourced by Aesop’s employees.
The brand is inviting all guests to take home a book of their choice, whether you’re a regular or a passerby who isn’t familiar with the store. Aesop not only wanted to highlight LGBTQIA+ voices but particularly to feature BIPOC and trans authors. The aim is to uplift underrepresented voices of the queer community around the world. Aesop’s support of amplifying marginalized communities goes beyond Pride Month; the Aesop Foundation emphasizes storytelling and literacy and is built on philanthropic endeavors that involve partnering with various charities to amplify the voices of those who may not otherwise have a platform.
Books on display include The Death of Vivek Oji, by Akwaeke Emezi; On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong; Real Life, by Brandon Taylor; and We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, by Samantha Irby. These authors explore everything from life and death to topics like childhood, dating, and personal finance.
The library opened on Monday, June 21, and runs through Sunday, June 27, so if you’re on a stroll through the West Village this week, you can pop by and grab a book for free.