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Aesop's queer library hands out free books to celebrate London Pride

Aesop's stores are known for their calm and understated aesthetic — and then there's that literary name — so it's not too far of a stretch to turn them into libraries. Which is exactly what the Australian skincare brand did earlier this summer in the US and Canada, when three stores were entirely cleared of their usual products and stocked with books instead: the Aesop Queer Library.

To celebrate London's Pride, Aesop has now repeated the transformation in that city's Soho and Borough stores, lining them with books by LGBTQIA+ authors from 5 through 12 September. Some of the books were donated by Penguin Random House and others were purchased from Gay's The Word, the UK's oldest queer bookstore. Over 80 titles are on offer, and any visitor can select one to take home, free of charge.

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On a whole different level than slapping rainbows on packaging, Aesop has found a way to genuinely amplify queer voices. It's not just supporting LGBTQIA+ authors, but allied bookstores, too. Smart move, since books are a perfect vehicle for letting readers sink into lives that are different from their own, and see themselves reflected in characters they resemble. And, of course — consumers will forever love a freebie ;-)