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New bookstore in Riverside spreading diversity with each sale

Femme Fire Books highlights women authors and people of color.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A few years back, Vanessa Nicolle took her love for books and turned it into an online business. 

“I was doing this as a hobby I love to read books and I love to share my books with others, book swapping and stuff like that and so I decided to sell some of the books I was reading online," Nicolle said.

A few years later, the Navy Veteran opened the Femme Fire Books brick and mortar. Nicolle says her vision for the store is much bigger than the books on the shelves.

“We’re not Amazon, we’re not Barnes and Noble but our mission is to celebrate diversity and encourage reading for all. We try to stock as many books written by women and people of color, both parties who have been marginalized in the publishing industry historically so my aim is to really raise those voices," Nicolle said. 

As a Filipino American woman herself, Nicolle says celebrating diversity is important.

“When I was growing up I didn’t read a lot of children’s books that had kids that looked like me in them or even into my adulthood it wasn’t until my mid 20’s where I was like you know what I’ve never read a book by a Filipino American," Nicolle said. 

Every book is carefully selected by Nicolle, with more than one thousand different options to choose from. 

“I’m hoping to provide a space for others to kind of explore their own cultural identity and for others to explore it as well," Nicolle said. "I think it’s important that we learn about the diaspora, the black experience, the Latina experience I think those are all very important things it’s just another way to learn about ourselves and other people."

Check out the book store located in the Cottage behind Cultivate Jax in Riverside. 2766 Park St ste 1 

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