BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A Brownsville resident aims to bring a book store back to the city.
Gilbert Hernandez, founder of Búho, a pop-up bookshop, is working toward bringing back a book store to Brownsville.
“When I realized that Brownsville didn’t have a bookstore, it made me think, ‘Is Brownsville the largest city in America without a bookstore,'” Hernandez said. “I researched, and I found out that Brownsville is the largest metropolitan area whose largest city does not have a bookstore.”
Hernandez started gathering inventory and hauling new and used books from his home and storage unit to locations throughout the city to sell.
He launched his business with the goal to save and open a permanent book store location.
“I have made myself the goal to not pay myself a single dollar until I become a brick and mortar,” Hernandez said.
Throughout the years, locals and visitors have expressed the need for a bookstore in the city.
“Having a bookstore is something that the community really needs,” said Joyce Almaguer – Reisdorf, a Houston native.
Almaguer – Reisdorf said that while visiting Brownsville she heard about Hernandez’s efforts and made sure to stop at a Búho popup while in town.
“When we saw on social media that there was a popup bookstore,” she said. “We decided we had to check it out and I got my Brownsville books, so I’m happy.”
Hernandez said he has received support from the community and city officials.
“They are all rooting for this,” he said. “It’s a mutual dream. They want to see this happen as much as I want to see it happen. So, it’s on me to make sure this happens for the city of Brownsville.”
Hernandez plans to continue with popups until he can open up a shop in downtown Brownsville or in the Mitte Cultural District.