Business & Economy

The Book Truck: old van turned into a mobile bookstore in Bolivia

La Paz, Apr 23 (EFE).- As the Covid-19 pandemic began to wain in Bolivia, Carlos Ramírez revived his vocation as a bookseller by refurbishing an old van into a mobile library to spread the joy of reading around La Paz.

Ramírez’s trade dried up after 23 years when the pandemic hit.

“After two years of the pandemic, there was no longer any income (…) I was living off my savings,” Ramírez told Efe.

Eight months ago, he saw a noisy, faded Volkswagen van with worn tires.

Although the initial plan was to purchase, fix and sell the van, he changed his mind when the idea of using it to sell books arose.

The excited bookseller asked his architect daughter to design the internal shelves that would carry the books.

The 1,600-cc van, which the bookseller calls Book Truck, has the capacity for a 700 kilogram load, enough to transport about 2,000 books.

The vehicle draws the attention of young people and adults alike, who gather to take photos once Ramírez has stopped and set up shop.

The Book Truck features classic literature and a range of other topics from cooking to children’s books.

“I’m not selling it for anything, they’ve offered me a lot of money, I’m not selling my van,” Ramírez, 60, said, adding that the once-abandoned vehicle is now “part” of his life. EFE


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