I had ordered the book Boys' Love Manga: Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-Cultural Fandom of the Genre. I don't read manga, but I've read my share of yaoi-inspired romances. Before I left for Philadelphia, I got a book that's likely to have yaoi influences, Indigo Knights 2: Champion.
I looked around once I got to Giovanni's Room. In an actual bookstore, as opposed to online, you can discover books out of serendipity and what's on display. I saw a couple of copies of S. Bear Bergman's Butch Is a Noun, signed by the author. I already own that. It's on a bookshelf right by my computer. I asked someone who worked there if there were any other books by S. Bear Bergman in the store. He looked it up, and apparently there weren't, though he said he could order other books for me. I looked in the trans books section of the store. I'd already read a number of the books. A book about transgendered children looked interesting, and I may get that next time I come to Giovanni's Room.
I looked around elsewhere, and saw Sodom on the Thames, which is a book about three cases in Victorian London, one or two about homosexuality and at least one about cross-dressing. From what I gather, the courts didn't really know what to do about a pair of male-bodied persons who dressed as women and promenaded on the streets. At some point I'll have to read that, though I may just try to get it from interlibrary loan.
I saw Bulldaggers, Pansies, and Chocolate Babies: Performance, Race, and Sexuality in the Harlem Renaissance. It looks like an interesting read. Mom works in the library at an HBCU -- Historically Black College or University. I thought that maybe she'd want the book for the library after I'd read it. It turned out that she was planning to order it, had the card for it and everything. She was amazed that I'd gotten a book she was planning to order, but I got it partly with the thought that I could donate it to the library there.
I read a couple of chapters of Boys' Love Manga on the train ride home. One chapter talked about Western m/m romances, too, and referenced Lynn Lorenz, Erastes, and Lee Rowan. I've never corresponded with Lynn Lorenz, though I've read a few of her books. I've read some of Erastes and Lee Rowan's books. I think Lynn Lorenz is American? Erastes is British, and Lee Rowan moved to Canada to marry her "sweetie."
Another chapter was about Weiß Kreuz fan fiction. I learned about Weiß Kreuz fan fiction from P.L. Nunn's Bishonen Works website. P.L. linked to some Weiß Kreuz fan fiction from there. Some of it is very rough on the characters. Later, when I went looking for more, I found that Jet Mykles had written a couple of stories that were much fluffier. I like the romantic stories better than the stories that brutally torment the characters.
So I got one book on a Japanese cultural phenomenon that's spread to other countries, and one on historical American culture.
I ended up walking back to the train station, but I guess my ankle has improved a lot, because it wasn't that bad a walk from 12th and Pine to Market East. It started raining while I was on the train, and was raining when I got to [station in the suburbs]. I didn't have a bad drive home. It wasn't torrential rain at that point, and I didn't see any hail. I was glad I'd gotten out of the house and made it to the city and back, and gotten to a cool bookstore.
Several hours later: I read Bulldaggers, Pansies and Chocolate Babies. I had heard of rent parties and drag balls. I'd previously read some about the writer Wallace Thurman, too, but hadn't remembered he'd written plays as well as novels. There was a chapter about musical revues. The book looked at the careers and some of the performances of Florence Mills, Ethel Waters and Gladys Bentley. I got a lot out of the examination of plays, revues and entertainers of the 1920s that are less remembered now. Mom will be able to process the book right away.