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Bookmobiles of the World

April 23, 2012 | by

1949 Chevy Bookmobile

I’ve had a soft spot for bookmobiles ever since I read 1964’s career romance for young moderns, The Girl on the Bookmobile and learned how much pleasure and knowledge these roving libraries could provide!

It was a trimly built van-like conveyance. At the rear, the doors swung open to show a miniature room equipped with shelves already stocked with books, a tiny desk, and racks clipped wherever a stray space presented itself.

(Romance and the dissemination of books ensue.)

You can imagine how thrilled we were by the 1928 Bookmobile Boing Boing showed us a few days ago and, now, by Flavorwire’s roundup of mobile books around the world! Check out the whole thing, but here are a few of our favorites. We don't see why bookmobiles shouldn’t join food trucks as a twenty-first-century craze!

Bogor, West Java, Indonesia.

The Mobilivre Bookmobile, housed in a vintage Airstream, brings indie and mainstream titles across the United States and Canada.

Artist and activist Lemesoff Raul built the nine-hundred-book Weapon of Mass Instruction to propagate messages of peace and literacy.

Camel bookmobile, Kenya.

13 COMMENTS

7 Comments

  1. Kelsey | April 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    “We don’t see why bookmobiles shouldn’t join food trucks as a twenty-first-century craze!”

    They’ve already joined the craze! Along with other great food truck-inspired mobile spaces.
    See: http://truckyeah.org/

  2. Sadie Stein | April 23, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I love it! Thanks so much!!

  3. Gabriel Levinson | April 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Only slightly dismayed that the Book Bike has so soon been forgotten, though it was fun while it lasted. http://www.bookbike.org

  4. Ruth Shehigian | April 23, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    A bookmobile fueled my love of reading at an early age. Parked weekly in a secluded spot on my walk home from school it gave me The Hobbit, The Black Stallion and The Diary of Ann Frank. I have never been without a book since. Their loss is a tragedy

  5. Irene | April 24, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Am I the only one who loved Parnassus on Wheels? I must have read Christopher Morley’s account of bookmobile 20 times.

  6. Derek | April 24, 2012 at 11:08 am

    The Girl on the Bookmobile was, delightfully, only one of several midcentury romances about bookmobiles. I wrote in a recent bookmobility.org post about a couple more, in response to the BoingBoing photo (http://bookmobility.org/post/21344283379/bookimmobility).

    I’ve aggregated some of my other posts about bookmobiles at HASTAC (hastac.org/blogs/…/national-bookmobile-day-aggregation-edition).

    But I always have to leave a direct link to my favorite bookmobile image ever, of a former German POW (and his dachshund) enjoying an Amerika Haus bookmobile at the height of the Cold War. It’s amazing.

  7. ron j stefanski | April 25, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Bookmobiles are not only a solid fond memory for many served by them, but a vivid reminder of the extraordinary and imaginative lengths caring librarians go to serve their patrons. No one ever has a bad memory of a walk to their bookmobile! God love ‘em and the wonderful book and librarians on board!

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