In her ongoing mission to keep the people of SanTana reading, Sarah Rafael Garcia is doubling down by expanding on her LibroMobile project with a tiny bookstore popup in a stairway between Alta Baja Market and 4th Street Market. The LibroMobile Bookstore is barely large enough for more than one visitor at a time, but that's part of the charm for Garcia.
"The only difficult thing in this space is that I have friends who hang out on the stoop," the Santa Ana native says, "and when there's more than two of them, it gets too crowded."
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Since its May debut, LibroMobile Bookstore has drawn curious onlookers and sidewalk traffic. Garcia has had many memorable interactions with visitors, but her Spanish-speaking patrons "affirm that we need to reach out to build community through literature."
The LibroMobile cart is parked outside the door, and more books are available in the staircase, in crates marked by genre. You can find writers of color and local authors who pen topics on social justice, history, mental health, poetry, zines and comics, all priced reasonably or for a donation of two books or more. There are also artist donations to make the walls of the space feel cozy.
Garcia's landlord plans to start construction above 4th Street Market for new apartments in the next four to six months, at which time she will move her literary concept elsewhere. In the meantime, she's putting aside books for her upcoming Little Free Libraries, a project organized with Community Engagement and the Santa Ana Public Library to bring books to working-class communities in the city. Keep in the know about the LibroMobile and the LibroMobile Bookstore's upcoming events and plans by following Garcia's Instagram (@Libromobile).
LibroMobile Bookstore, 201 E. Fourth St. (between Alta Baja Market and 4th Street Market), Santa Ana; www.libromobile.com. Open Mon., Wed. & Fri., 11 a.m-3 p.m.; and by appointment.