Galería Cubana | (Formerly) Now Voyager Bookstore and Gallery
When 2011 began, Provincetown had three good independent bookstores. That astonishing figure yields an average of one good independent bookstore for every 1,000 year-round residents. If New York City, America’s publishing capital, enjoyed such a ratio, there would be 8,000 good independent bookstores throughout the five boroughs. (There aren’t.) But the realities of the upended publishing industry finally caught up with Mark Leach, proprietor of the 21-year-old Now Voyager Bookstore and Gallery for the previous nine seasons, who had “been serving the community’s gay and lesbian book needs with aplomb,” in the words of Kim Grant’s Explorer’s Guide to Cape Cod. At the end of 2011, he finally had to close the store.
The name of the store, which opened in 1991, brings Bette Davis to many people’s minds, including mine. But the more literate among us may better recall the lines from Whitman’s Leaves of Grass: “The untold want, by life and land ne’er granted, / Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find.” And there was much to find here. Though Now Voyager’s strength was in its collection of fiction and nonfiction books of special interest to lesbian and gay readers, it also had a reliable — if limited — inventory of general-interest titles.
Sharing the commercial space at No. 357 is the Galería Cubana, founded in 2007 and directed by Michelle Wojcik, who describes herself as one of only about 30 licensees in the United States authorized to import Cuban artwork. She has another gallery in Boston.
The property was known in the 1950s as the Sea Side Apartments.