How An Independent Bookstore Brilliantly Hit Back At Misogynist Trolls


by Anna Brech |
Published on

An independent bookstore in Australia used a cunning blend of humour, cake and charm to fight back after it was targeted by anti-feminist trolls on social media.

Avid Reader Bookshop and Cafe in Brisbane was bombarded with negative reviews and one-star ratings after it broadcast its support of feminist author Clementine Ford.

The store's social media manager Christopher Currie told the Sydney Morning Herald that the abuse started when he decided to share a post where Clementine announced the forthcoming publication of her second book, Boys Will Be Boys, on Facebook.

Sharing her link on Avid Reader's page, he added the comment, "Such brilliant news!"


Avid Reader hosted an event to launch Clementine's debut, Fight Like a Girl - touted as "an essential manifesto for feminists" - last year.

Her latest tome is described as "an exploration of power, patriarchy and the toxic bonds of brotherhood".

Within hours of celebrating its publication yesterday, Christopher noticed an influx of angry comments accusing the bookstore of being "disgusting", "hating men" and promoting "misandrist" Clementine.

The online assault appears to be organised by the group Anti-Feminism Australia, who posted their own Facebook message that read: "Avid Reader Bookshop and Cafe in Brisbane are promoting Clementine Ford's man hating book. Be sure to leave them a one star review for promoting the hatred of men."

But the trolls hadn't bargained on Avid Reader's witty, liberal and close-knit community, who moved fast to assemble a grassroots counter-attack of their own.

First, the bookstore's customers rallied around, posting thousands of glowing reviews on Facebook to out-number the ones left by the trolls. The balance quickly tipped in their favour:

Then, they turned their attention to baking - serving up a ton of pointed cakes and treats aimed at making the trolls eat their own words; as well as generally spreading the love:


Avid Reader and its community also directly engaged the trolls, with one particularly brilliant exchange whereby someone writes, "Since you promote misandrist Clementine Ford who hates men, I will never visit this bookshop/cafe ever again."

To which Avid Reader replies simply, "Hooray!"

Most of all, bookworms everywhere united with an outpour of affection for the store.

"You lovely bookshop you! Such fortitude and humour, in the face of all this rubbish - onya, lovelies!" wrote one person, in a sentiment echoed by hundreds of others.

"These nutters have put you on the map and I'll endeavour to visit if I make it to Bris. Great work trolls!" commented another.

Christopher said he was overwhelmed by the response. "Thank you all so much for your amazing outpouring of support last night. We will endeavour to read and respond to all your lovely reviews as soon as we can xxo," he wrote on Avid Reader's Facebook page.

"We are first and foremost a community space with a strong set of beliefs and values, with a community who shares those values. We sell books we love to people who appreciate them," he added to the Guardian.

“We don’t take shit from anyone, and we’re really fucking good at what we do."

Read More: Can We Stop Getting On Our High Horses About Feminism?

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