Friday, July 19, 2024

All She Wrote Books is holding a two-part book fair on June 29 – for kids and adults. (Photo: All She Wrote Books via social media)

In a nod to the Scholastic book fairs she grew up with, All She Wrote Books owner Christina Pascucci-Ciampa will host a two-part book fair on June 29 at Connexion that will combine nostalgia with the end of Pride month for an event she’s dubbed “the gayest book fair ever.”

All She Wrote Books, which started as a popup at Bow Market in 2019 and now occupies a storefront on Washington Street in East Somerville, is an intersectional feminist and queer bookstore. The book fair will serve as a celebration of the store’s fifth anniversary and of the end of Pride month. Pascucci-Ciampa hopes it will evoke the feelings of those school events, but better.

“It’s not going to be your typical book fair – you’re going to see probably the most gay books you’ve ever seen in one place, aside from our bookstore – but we’re still going to have all the nostalgic stuff like the tote bags and the pencil cases and the pencils,” Pascucci-Ciampa said. “I want to bring that nostalgia into it, but with different books that weren’t part of the original experience.”

The book fair has a free, all-ages event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by a ticketed 18-plus party from 8 to 10 p.m.

During the daytime portion, there will be books and other merchandise available for sale from All She Wrote. Nonprofits such as Fenway Health, the ACLU of Massachusetts and the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth will table, along with Rebecca Minor, a gender specialist and clinical social worker who works with trans and gender-nonconforming youth. There will be drag story hours, and Pascucci-Ciampa will debut for storytime as Mizz Sparkles.

“I’m hoping that will turn into a more frequent storytime that I’ll host at the bookstore,” Pascucci-Ciampa said.

During the nighttime portion, for which tickets need to be bought online for $10, tables will include Lavender Education, an adult education group dedicated to LGBTQ+ history, and the Crafty Queer Studio, who will have Pride pins, jewelry and stickers. There will be a coloring book station, and All She Wrote Books will again have books for sale, along with bookmarks, tote bags, stickers, pins, and five-year anniversary merch. FemMenThem, a queer cabaret group, will perform two book-themed shows.

Food will be provided by Ritcey East, a restaurant in Watertown. “It’s ’90s style comfort food but better: homemade Pop-Tarts, tater tots paired with delicious burgers,” Pascucci-Ciampa said. “They make these really fun foods, so I’m really excited they will be there to add to our nostalgia.”

For Pascucci-Ciampa, the book fair is an ode and an upgrade to her youth.

“When I was a kid, I didn’t have money for the Scholastic book fairs, but I used to pore over those catalogs and dream about the curated bookshelf that I would have in my bedroom,” she said. “The books I really wanted, though, the books that I would’ve seen myself in, weren’t there.”

This gay-ified book fair is a reflection of the queer book community Pascucci-Ciampa has cultivated at All She Wrote Books over the past five years.

“It’s an opportunity to do what we already do in the bookstore, but make it a fun event,” Pascucci-Ciampa said.

The All She Wrote Pride Book Fair is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (free and all ages) and 8 to 10 p.m. ($10 and for those 18-plus) at Connexion, 149 Broadway, East Somerville. Information is here.