Featured photo: Diarra “Crckt” Leggett has been running Boomerang Bookshop for the last six years (photo by Sayaka Matsuoka)

Diarra “Crckt” Leggett has been running the Boomerang Bookshop bus in and around Greensboro for the last six years. Recently the bus was broken into, which Leggett says was a huge violation of privacy. In a conversation with TCB, Leggett shares how the business has grown and how important books are in this current political landscape.

Boomerang is typically at the Corner Farmer’s Market every Saturday. They will also be at the Black Food Truck Festival for Juneteeth in downtown Greensboro on June 17.

Follow them on social media at @boomerangbookshop

We first wrote about Boomerang back in 2017 when you first started the business. What’s been going on since then?

Well we just finished six years. It’s the same bus and I’m still doing it as a side business. The pandemic was tough because I was hitting a lot of book sales when I first opened up and getting a lot of inventory, but book sales slowed down during the pandemic. Now, I get books from individuals. I do prefer the sales, but I make more connections through individuals.

Other than that, the business hasn’t really changed that much. It’s been pretty steady. The main change is that my hours have made it so that I can’t afford to go to People’s Market in Glenwood anymore. I used to sell there every week. So now, I only sell a couple times on the weekends.

Leggett says he likes to sell books on radical politics, philosophy and African-American interests (photo by Sayaka Matsuoka)

How has your relationship with the community changed over the years?

It’s developed. I feel like I have a place in the community now. And people who have not come into contact with the bus are usually positively receptive. They say they’ve never seen anything like it or they’re happy to have experienced something like that. Older people tell me that it reminds them of the library book mobile and I tell them that’s exactly what it is.

How would you describe your relationship with books?

It’s kind of funny. Because I work around books all the time, in various modes of exchange, I don’t really keep books like I used to because I come across them very frequently. Books are very liquid in my personal life now.

What kinds of books do you like to get?

I like to try and sell diverse literary- and speculative-fiction books. I also like to sell radical politics, people’s histories and lots of African-American interest books. And I think it’s important because there hasn’t really been an outlet for that. Recently there has been a bookstore and restaurant in Friendly Center that opened. It’s a Black-owned bookstore, but there hadn’t been one in Greensboro for years. So I like to reflect some of my own cultural background through the books.

Do you feel like that’s becoming more important as of late?

I would think so. I currently work outreach with the Alamance County Public Library and there’s just been a lot of attacks on freedom of speech and availability of readings and of literature, of different ideas. It makes me feel like my positions are more necessary than ever.

It also seems like people are hanging onto their books a little more than they used to. It seems like people are placing a greater value on the written word, a more personal value.

Diarra “Crckt” Leggett has been running Boomerang Bookshop for the last six years (photo by Sayaka Matsuoka)

Can you tell me about the break in?

So for years, I’ve parked my bus at my house. It’s not very accessible so I left it unlocked for a long time but I guess I left it unlocked one too many times and someone broke in. It looked like they stayed in there for a night or two. They took a lot of stuff. They took books on Buddhism, eastern religion, philosophy, human sexuality, all of my graphic novels. They also took like all of my zines and various odds and ends that were my personal belongings.

Based on your social media post, it looks like the person left a note apologizing for breaking in. How did that make you feel?

It made me empathize with them somewhat. It kind of made me think that it was a really bad situation all the way around.

How can people help you out?

They can donate books. They can bring them to the Corner Farmers Market on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon and they can always message me on Instagram or Facebook.

Diarra “Crckt” Leggett has been running Boomerang Bookshop for the last six years (photo by Sayaka Matsuoka)

Will you take monetary donations?

I’d prefer books over funds. I did a Gofundme for a new transmission a few years ago, but I’m not really comfortable doing that again.

Any plans for a store location?

It started off that way. Like in the back of my mind, I would still like to have a brick-and-mortar [location] so I have one place to be, but I really like meeting people where they are. I just wish I was able to do it more frequently.

What are you reading now?

I just finished a book called Babel by RF Kuang. It was really good. It was a really interesting look at British imperialism through the lens of translation.

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