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Rueben Martinez's Latino Bookstore in Downtown Santa Ana Has Moved, Again, to Bigger Digs


Rueben Martinez's Latino bookstore in Santa Ana has moved to a new downtown location--and actor Edward James Olmos will be on hand for the grand opening Saturday.

Olmos, who is on a national publicity tour for "Americanos: Latino Life in the United States," a book of portraits, essays and commentary that he helped create, will sign between 1 and 4 p.m. at the newly renamed Libreria Martinez Books and Art Gallery, now at 1110 N. Main St.

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel A. Pulido Jr. will be at the event to proclaim Edward James Olmos Week in Santa Ana as part of the "Santa Ana, a Reading City" program.

Martinez, 58, began selling books out of his small barbershop on 3rd Street in 1993; in 1996 he moved down the street into much larger quarters on the ground floor of a law office building at 3rd and Main streets.

The latest move--nine blocks north into the old Chandler's furniture store--was prompted, Martinez said, by an offer he couldn't refuse.

"It was a great opportunity [to expand]," said the always enthusiastic bookseller. "Business has been OK, but we want to triple it!"

More bookshelves are being built for the new 3,000-square-foot store, a sprawling space that opens directly onto Main Street and has plenty of parking, he said. "We're going to carry everything: All the bestsellers in English. But our focus is [still] going to be Latino books and books in Spanish. And our children's section is going to have every culture you can think of--books from India, Cambodia, China, Japan and the Americas. It's introducing children to different cultures; that's what we're going to be focusing on.

"We want to generate readers," Martinez said.

Despite his ever-increasing focus on selling books and promoting reading through his schoolroom visits, Martinez's old barber customers needn't worry. Martinez continued to cut hair by appointment in the back room of the previous store, and he plans to do the same at his new location.

Coming Up:

* Shakespeare Appreciation 101, a free program exploring how to see and hear the Bard's plays with greater appreciation and understanding, will be at noon today in the Newport Beach Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave.

* Poets Bil and Carole Luther will read at 8 p.m. today at the Alta Coffee House & Roasting Company, 506 31st St., Newport Beach.

* Poets Victor Infante, Michelle Ben-Hur and Rondo Mieczkowski will be interviewed and will read their poetry on Barbara DeMarco Barrett's Writers on Writing show at 6 p.m. today on KUCI-FM (88.9) in Irvine. The show will be broadcast live from Borders Books, Music and Cafe, 1890 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa.

* Deborah Crombie will sign "Kissed a Sad Goodbye" at 6 p.m. Thursday at Book Carnival, 348 S. Tustin Ave., Orange.

* Dog trainer Larry Lachman will present a program on pet behavior and sign "Dogs on the Couch: Behavior Therapy for Training and Caring for Your Dog" at 7 p.m. Saturday at Borders Books, Music and Cafe, 1890 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa.

* Peter Robinson will sign "In a Dry Season" at 1 p.m. Saturday, and Kirk Mitchell will sign "Cry Dance" at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Book Carnival, 348 S. Tustin Ave., Orange.

* Children's authors David L. Rice ("Lifetimes") will sign at 1 p.m Saturday, and John Reitano ("What If the Zebras Lost Their Stripes?") will sign at 3 p.m. Saturday at Borders Books, Music and Cafe, 1890 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa.

* Olympic gold medalist Al Joyner will sign "Running for Dummies," which was written by his late wife, Florence Griffith Joyner, at 2 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble, 26751 Aliso Creek Road, Aliso Viejo.

* Y.N. Chang will sign "Small Footsteps, Giant Shadows" at 7 p.m. Saturday at Bookstar, 975 E. Birch St., Brea.

* Former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger will sign his new book, "Years of Renewal," at 2 p.m. Monday at the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace, 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda. Only books purchased in the library gift shop will be signed.

Send information about book-related events at least 10 days before event to: Dennis McLellan, O.C. Books & Authors, Southern California Living, The Times, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

Biographer to Discuss His Pulitzer-Winner Biographer A. Scott Berg will discuss his recent bestseller, "Lindbergh," at a free program commemorating National Library Week at 7 p.m. today in the Newport Beach Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave.

Berg on Monday won the Pulitzer Prize in biography for his Lindbergh tome. His previous bestsellers include "Max Perkins: Editor of Genius" and "Goldwyn: A Biography."

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