By Jon Ruggiero
With live events starting back up, many businesses have hit the road to visit new places and opportunities. Barber shops and dog groomers have gone mobile, and various restaurants have opened up successful food trucks over the past years. One local book store has opened a mobile truck for the mind.
People Called Women (PCW) is a local independent book seller specializing in feminist and women-authored literature. Over the past year the business has moved operations from brick and mortar to a new mobile book store. But the book mobile is more than just a bus stocked with books. In fact, it can be many things depending on who needs it.
On The Road
Linda Alvarado-Arce, owner of PCW, transitioned the business from physical to online-only to the book mobile during quarantine. “This bookstore more importantly, advocates and supports women in the arts and education,” the owner explained. “If you are an author, a poet, or have a beautiful art or craft and you would like to share or sell it, the bookstore offers consignment.”
Books offered in the store include newer releases like the “Who Is” series by Ellen Labrecque, and previously-owned publications such as vintage pulp fiction novels. The book store has had to evolve, but Alvarado-Arce explained that “because the feminist movement is constantly evolving, with the demands and inequitable treatments of women, the bus will always be transitioning and evolving.” This means the bus can change depending on the situation.
“The book mobile gets loaded up with new and used books for children and women that are specifically picked for the event, month or venue,” Alvarado-Arce explained. So the bus can be stocked with PRIDE books and merchandise at one event, then filled with books and information on social services and support at Take Back The Night events.
Alvarado-Arce knows she’s working on an unusual project here. “The idea of walking into a bus to shop for books and women’s literature not normally found in the area is a big shift mentally.” She has already had to deal with people walking past the bus “thinking it either brought people to the location or is there to provide transportation.” But she hopes with repeated exposure to the bus at various events, more people will want to step in.
Aside from live events, the book mobile will show up at “local restaurants, markets, and businesses that can highlight, help support, and build community among us women throughout the year.” The bus owners do have access to the original seats to turn the book mobile back into transport for other local events.The bus is also wheelchair accessible to allow for access for more individuals to come on and see what PCW is all about. If you see the bright white bus at a local event, stop in and see what new form the book mobile has put on today.
For more information on the book mobile and the organization, visit www.peoplecalledwomen.com