Why only queer men?
Because that’s what I am and that’s what I know. While I also read LGBT books not focused on men, I simply have not read as much and I do not have the same personal background. I also think that it’s important to recognize that, while LGBT folk share many of the same experiences, each group also faces a unique set of challenges. The goal of this website is to collect books that address those unique challenges facing queer men.
How do you decide which books are “classics”?
I am considering books published before 1970 to be classics because they were released before the mainstreaming of the American LGBT rights movement. Around that time, literary representations of homosexuality began to undergo some fundamental shifts towards what we see today, and it’s these older works which paved the way to modern gay literature.
What does the difficulty scale represent?
Because I am attempting to include books from every genre and era, some will require significantly more effort on the part of the reader than others. The difficulty scale is intended to reflect their accessibility. Of course it’s still subjective, so take it with a grain of salt.
Why don’t you rate the books?
Because their “literary quality” is less important to me than the experiences they depict. My goal is only to collect the books, not to evaluate them.
What’s with the site name?
It’s an allusion to Alan Hollinghurst’s first novel, The Swimming-Pool Library. You can read more about it here.