About Bobbi-Lee - Founder

Growing up I was an avid reader. Anything I could get my hands on I was reading. I loved gaining knowledge & hated not knowing what people were talking about. I bought most of my books at the bookfair while in elementary school, and after that most of my books came from thrift stores or swap meets. There were 2 reasons for this. 1. the rate at which I was going through books would have cost way more had those books been new, and 2. there were no bookstores near me. Today the closest bookstore to me that sells new books (I still live in the same neighborhood) is a 20 minute drive away. Teenage me would have loved a neighborhood bookstore to talk to other book nerds, open mic nights, workshops, author events, etc. This store is for her & others like her that need(ed) that space.

I still love books & knowledge, which is why I went into academia. I’ve been teaching Sociology courses for over 8 years in higher education. I have my bachelor’s and master’s in Sociology and a doctorate in education. I love not only gaining knowledge but sharing it. I love discussions about the world, and books, and shows, pulling things apart & analyzing them through a sociological lens. It’s my happy place. And I do not believe these topics & this knowledge should only be available in the classroom. Everyone should have access if they want it. Which is why I decided to open this store, as a way to continue spreading knowledge & creating a space for people to learn & engage with knowledge & each other in less formal ways. 

Now maybe you are wondering about the store name, Subverting Expectations. This came about because I have always shocked people with who I am, which is weird to me because I’m just me, but I also understand, through Sociology, that people have tons of preconceived notions about who I am based on how I look (short, sweet, unassuming), my race/ethnicity (white/Italian), where I am from (West Anaheim, lower middle/working class area), who my parents are (a secretary & iron worker), the way I present myself (I dress mostly for comfort), the way I speak (I curse, use slang, & am fairly direct), and so on. And I know that this happens to tons of other people. Society has expectations for who, what, & how we should be, but most of us do not fit those molds & have no desire to fit those expectations. My goal is for this bookstore to be a space where people can be themselves & find community.