Tuesday, February 1, 2011

One Librarian's Journey

Author:  Audrey Niffenegger
Summary:  The Night Bookmobile tells the story of a wistful young woman who one night encounters a mysterious disappearing library on wheels.  This library includes everything, and only everything, she has ever read.  Seeing her history and most intimate self in this library, she embarks on a search for the bookmobile.  But over time her search turns into an obsession as she longs to be reunited with her own collection and therefore, her memories.

The Dish:  The Night Bookmobile is the first book I've read by Ms. Niffenegger, and it is a rather different type of graphic novel.  From the outside, it looks like a picture book one would find in the Children's Section of the library, but the story within is deeper than one expects.  Niffenegger is a rather unique storyteller, and she does tell a marvelous and touching story, one that not only librarians but anyone who loves books will hopefully appreciate in some way. 

Alexandra, the narrator, is walking about the city of Chicago one night and comes across a rather out-of-place Winnebago in the street.  Curious about it's appearance and the fact that the lights are on, she approaches it and the person in the driver's seat allows her entrance.  This Winnebago is actually a Bookmobile of sorts, but not just any Bookmobile.  When you first see the amount of books inside, it fills almost the entirety of the Winnebago.  This actually reminds me of a drawing by an artist I encountered at the Jazz & Arts Festival in Denton.  It is a one-point perspective drawing of a library that seems to go on endlessly, and if any library could represent one that adds more and more books to it as the reader reads, it would be within this piece.  Below is sort of an example of one-point perspective in a library; I would rather not show the drawing itself without a link to the artist's webpage.

For anyone who is searching for something or has ever felt the need to search for that something that seems to be missing in their life, I would recommend this graphic novel.  The story does have its sad points, but I hope that readers would find some peace in reading the end. 


  1. I'll be doing a history report on bookmobiles this month. I might have to bring this book up!

  2. I hope you like it and that it helps in your report even a little. :)


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