The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger

Published by Jonathan Cape

This was one of those wonderful random discoveries I made in my local library recently.  It was sat on the end of a shelf with some other  unrelated books. Having now read it, I feel as though it was there waiting for me. 

The book starts with Alexandra, roaming the streets of her local town in the early hours of the morning after an argument with her boyfriend. As she walks, she comes across a Winnebago, which houses the Night Bookmobile. She meets the librarian Mr Openshaw who invites her in to look around. Once inside she finds a library, the books all out of order, but strangely familiar. The library is her own personal reading history, containing everything she has ever read, including cereal packets, instruction manuals and unfinished books. The library is only open between dusk and dawn and Alexandra returns each night hoping it will be there. Years pass and she never sees the Winnebago, despite looking for it. Then, randomly it appears in her life once again. 

The book is a graphic novel, and is short, it will only take you half an hour to read, but my word is it good. It is a beautiful tribute to what it is to be a reader, and how our reading history changes, evolves and influences us. For readers this is something which will reach you with very few words, but you will understand completely. Just look at the way Alexandra is cradling that book on the front cover. That is exactly how I feel about books, and particularly those which have a special place in my reading world. 

I want to get this copy back to the library as soon as I can so others can read it too… but I have to have this book in my collection, as a reminder of how important reading is to me, so will get a copy of my own. 

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