The Brightside: Caprichos Books, mobile book store
DELMARVA – Liz Decker, someone you could call a bookworm has always loved books and the stories they tell. While she loved owning a book store, it was the pandemic that changed her outlook. With more readers opting for deliveries, she knew she had to change her tactics. “So we hit the road, and during that time we also decided to move to the beach, and we said if we’re going to be mobile we can deliver all over and we can spread our community and spread the book love,” says Decker, owner of Caprichos Books.
Now Caprichos books are anywhere and everywhere. Decker tells us, “With the outdoors came more festivals and things like that, people felt safer outside so it’s better for us to be outside and have these shops outside accessible to people.” She says she has a passion for bringing the love of reading to even the most remote places. “We run different pop-up events at all kinds of locations, we wanted to really connect different communities so we like to partner with different communities to different events at different locations.” Decker adds, “People can see we can pivot and we can see and be in the community around us but also we’re very adaptable and give what the community is asking for.”
However, Decker’s focus is on getting books into community members’ hands, she has a bigger mission; carrying banned books and making them available to everyone. “Somewhere in the world, in the county, someone has questioned their material and found that they don’t want it available to the public,” says Decker.
Banned books aren’t books that can no longer be found or read or sold. They’re just not readily available for censorship reasons, which means readers don’t have free access. “Something as simple as this Great book ‘Hey Kiddo,’ is a book where this young man struggles with his mother’s addiction and people didn’t want that in a middle school because of the heavy subject.” However, Decker says books like those have a deeper meaning, that’s beneficial to the development of young minds. “At the same time, a lot more children need to see these experiences and understand what other people might be going through even if it’s not something they’re going through so that they can have more compassion.”
That’s why Decker says she wants to be the middle man. The one who is helping families still hold onto beloved stories that aren’t being told any more, like ‘The Little Engine That Could’ that teaches perseverance, or ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ that shows how your family will love you unconditionally. “When somebody comes up to me and says I didn’t know this was banned, I can start that conversation and say this is what is happening in your community your community is questioning this book and saying it shouldn’t be available for any child do you want that to happen?” says Decker. She adds, “If you want a hands in it, you can help make these books available to your children.”
Decker also tells 47 ABC, each story is a tale as old as time, no matter what the book is and being on the forefront of the community, will help share those stories for generations to come. “Adult readers remember their childhoods being filled with books and that is just the most important thing having those books accessible to children,” says Decker.
Decker also tells says she still accepts used books, and constantly gives to free libraries in communities.
Caprichos Books has an e-book and audio-book option for other readers and they will be opening a new book store in Ocean Pines, in January of 2023. Deckers says they will continue with the mobile book store, but the store will serve as a home base for the company which he hopes to bring activities for kids, crafts, authors, and much more.
To learn more about her mobile book store, visit the Caprichos website.