The May edition of COAST Magazine has ranked Ruebén Martinez at number 7 in “50 Landmarks, Legends and Locales that make Orange County Amazing.”

It was nice to see that Rueben Martinez was ranked in the top 10 at number 7.  It was also a proud moment for Chapman University and the College of Educational Studies to see Ruebén rank ahead of Disneyland (#28), Nolan Ryan (#24), and Tiger Woods (#40). Unfortunately, the list was ranked in “no particular order.”  However, we are pretty sure that Ruebén could probably throw a no-hitter at Angel Stadium, and win a green jacket at Augusta National if he set his mind to it, and therefore he deserves to be ranked at number 7, ahead of those other icons.

In honor of Ruebén Martinez being ranked at number 7 in the “50 Landmarks and Legends” list, The College of Educational Studies decided to list the 7 reasons why Libreria Martinez de Chapman University bookstore is a great place to visit.

1. The Books and Authors.

Each month, numerous authors, give presentations, have book signings, and have casual discussions with their fans and visitors to the bookstore in an intimate setting.  There is no other forum in Southern California that allows patrons of the book store to have a one on one conversation with a prestigious author.  Some of the notable authors that have presented at the book store include Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America’ Rick Najera, author of “Almost White, Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood,” and Alfredo Corchado, author of “Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey through a Country’s Decent into Darkness.”

2. The Art and Artist.  

Visiting the Librería Martinez Book Store is like touring a small wing at the Bower’s Art Museum. Inside the book store there are wall to wall paintings from local and national artists.  The book cases and top shelves are decorated with sculptures from Nicholas Hernandez, who created artwork for former President Bill Clinton and sculptures for their daughter Chelsea, and his sculpture Emergence, is on display in front of the Hashinger Science Center at Chapman University .  Each month a special friend of the bookstore will stop by and talk about his or her art work and give live demonstrations – someone like artist and painter, Peter Rodriguez, founder of the Mexican Museum in San Francisco and presented his art exhibit, “Honoring Heroes,” at the bookstore in October 2013.  The Librería Martinez de Chapman University is a wonderful place for art aficionados to absorb culture, art, and artist in an intimate setting.  The bookstore’s exclusive vibe and intimacy could probably rival the Guggenheim Collection in Italy, or the original Barnes Foundation gallery in Philadelphia!

3. Music and Poetry.

The bookstore often has poets and musicians give live performance for free!  Some of the notable musicians have included Rafael Figueroa, Dr. Gloria Arjona, and children’s musician Jose-Luis Orozco.  East Los Angeles Poet, Veronica Reyes, has stopped by the book store to read from her children’s book, “Chopper Chopper,” as well as Melinda Palacio, author of the poetry book, How Fire Is a Story.

4. Children’s Book Festivals, Authors and Events.

The Librería Martinez bookstore has been part of the Big Orange Book Festival, as well as the UCLA festival of books to inspire children to read. Authors such as Vinico Murillo, author of Roderic Roach have stopped by to sign books and talk with all readers, young and old.  The book store also offers Pre-school story time for children ages 3-5 years old every Tuesday and Wednesday. Preschoolers come and listen to stories in both English and Spanish.

5. The Faculty and Staff. 

The artist, the poets, and the musicians all have Liberia Martinez Staff to thank for organizing, promoting, and operating all of the events at Librería Martinez.  Dr. Anaida Colon-Muniz (Director of Community Education, and Associate Professor at the College of Educational Studies),  Mac Morante (Director of Events, and Adjunct Professor at the College of Educational Studies), and Maria Ceballos all deserve thanks for organizing all of the events and community services at the book store.  Maria Ceballos also deserves credit for providing excellent customer services to all of the patrons buying books, or shopping for art.

6. Community Services.

The Librería Martinez offers a wide array of community services to the book store each month.  The bookstore recently added Teen Mentoring services. Chapman University students interested in civic engagement are paired as mentors with mentees who are high school students from Santa Ana High School. They explore future college and career opportunities and participate in workshops. They also jointly participate in a civic engagement project to improve the Santa Ana community.

7. Rueben Martinez.

Without Ruebén Martinez, there would be no cool book store in Santa Ana that artists and authors showed up to discuss their works.  Without Ruebén Martinez, there would be no local site where children could discover the magic of books and wonders of learning.  Ruebén Martinez not only promotes literacy and the arts, but he is also frequently encouraging high school students to apply to college, and mentoring them to seek their full educational potential.  Ruebén  always has a huge smile, and is friendly to talk to about everything and anything.  It could be about art, books, music, or just a casual conversation about life. Chapman University and the College of Educational Studies are proud to have partnered with Ruebén Martinez, and we hope that you will show your support by visiting the book store and Ruebén Martinez; He is there almost every Wednesday.