BY JASON COHEN
As Book Row in NYC is long
gone and the Lit Bar is the lone
book store in the Bronx, one
Bronxite is hoping to bring a mobile
bookstore to the borough.
Latanya Devaughn, 40, of
Mott Haven, grew up going to
the Strand in Manhattan with
her aunt Dora Villodas and often
came home with tons of books.
She spent hours there and
loved it because the books were
“That experience was great,
but I didn’t like the train,” she
Devaughn taught at Fordham
and performed at various open
mics, but through all of this,
there was a desire to open a bookstore
in her borough. The mom of
three, noticed there was nowhere
for Bronxites to buy books locally
and for 20 years it has been
her mission to change that.
In May of 2019 she launched
Bronx Bound Books where
she travels the streets of the
Bronx and holds various programs.
It has grown in popularity
and people have donated more
than 7,000 books.
“I believe every neighborhood
deserves a bookstore,” she
Devaughn was doing payroll
for Zabar’s in Manhattan, but
then COVID-19 arrived and lost
the job. Since then she has put all
of her focus on creating the mobile
In September 2020 she received
a $4,000 grant from LISC
and Lowe’s, which helped buy,
renovate and hire an interior designer
for a bus.
“The bus will travel the
streets of the Bronx to bring literature
to the people,” she explained.
“We’ll to grow our relationship
with the community.
We are happy to collaborate with
local businesses, schools, parks
groups, shelters and organizations
that encourage literacy in
our community. We’ll host outdoor
read-alouds, open mics,
writing workshops, arts and
crafts…pretty much anything a
traditional bookstore does. Eventually,
BRONX TIMES REPORTER, F 20 EB. 26-MAR. 4, 2021 BTR
when it is safe we plan to
host small events inside of our
“bookstore on wheels”
During 2020 she held virtual
events where authors read books,
but is now ready for the real deal
and to make her mark on the borough.
Devaughn plans to have the
bus ready by the end of March
and the goal is to have at the
James Baldwin Outdoor Learning
Center every Saturday and
on Sunday through November
and at a farmer’s market in Riverdale.
Long-term Devaughn wants
to set up reading rooms outside
of the bus as well.
“The most important aspect
of the concept is you can go inside,”
she explained. “People
in the Bronx want a bookstore.
This is something the borough
has never had.
If anyone wishes to donate to
the fi nal renovations of the bus
go to http://bronxboundbooks.
Latanya Devaughn the founder of Bronx Bound Books, who is bringing a
mobile bookstore to the Bronx next month. Courtesy of Abigail Montes
coming to the bronx