Store owners Pablo Guzman and Manuel Tapia explained that the store received such an enthusiastic response from the community and so many books were donated that they very quickly outgrew the original storefront at 918 8th St. The new space, at 827 10th St., is about four times the size of the original, and it officially opened to customers on July 15.
The bookstore sells titles for all ages across many subjects, including fiction, nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy, self-help and Chicano books. While the bookstore is still about 90% used, Tapia and Guzman have started doing more special orders and are gradually increasing their new book selection.
The owners plan eventually to build a small coffee house inside the store and create an events space. The building--a former jewelry store--has a "giant vault" in the back, which they intend to use for displaying banned and challenged books. The store also has four support pillars that they've covered in spiraling stacks of books; Guzman said it took about 15 hours of work per pillar.
Once they find their footing in the new space, Tapia and Guzman will consider what's next for the store, and they did not rule out opening a second location at some point.
"The community showed up for us tremendously," Guzman remarked.