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The night bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger
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The night bookmobile (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Audrey Niffenegger

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6347515,284 (3.63)155
Member:jojamo
Title:The night bookmobile
Authors:Audrey Niffenegger
Info:New York : Abrams ComicArts, 2010.
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Graphic novel, bookmobile, library, books, librarian, librarianship, death

Work details

The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger (2010)

Recently added byKDKat5, Ciarda, jhicks62, justpeachy, e-zReader, Spunkypineapple, private library
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English (71)  French (1)  German (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (74)
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger was first serialized in The Guardian. I came across it through a number of book blogs that seem taken with the cover of Alexandra hugging the book she's reading. As I had so enjoyed Three Incestuous Sisters, I knew I wanted to read this graphic novel.

Alexandra, angry after a fight with her boyfriend, wanders the streets one night. In her perambulations she discovers a night bookmobile, driven and maintained by Mr. Openshaw. His library on wheels oddly has every book she remembers reading, including the odds and ends she used as book marks. These aren't just books she remembers reading, these are the books she read — many long lost and forgotten.

Rather than be completely grossed out by such an eerie thing, Alexandra finds a new obsession to fill the void in her life. She desperately wants to be a bookmobile librarian. She wants to apprentice under Mr. Openshaw. She does everything she can, including going to library school. Though she finds a new career as a librarian, it isn't the one she dreams of.

Alexandra does ultimately reach her goal, but through extra-ordinary means. Her blinding obsession with books and a particular book mobile plays into a recurring theme I've seen in books or films where a librarian is the main character — loneliness and depression — the librarian who hides in her (almost always her) books. Niffenegger just takes it one doozy of a step further.

Like Alexandra I've had an on again, off again affair with books and libraries. My first library encounter was also with a bookmobile — though we didn't actually get to into the vehicle — they were brought to us in a rented storefront. I don't see reading as a solitary, lonely or depressing thing. It's not a substitute for human interaction — it enhances those interactions. A librarian's primary function is to connect people and books. There's more human interaction than reading involved in the job.

Also like Alexandra, I do sometimes dream about driving a bookmobile. In California that would require going back to driving school and getting a class C license. At the moment, I'm ready to be done with school, but maybe in a year or two, I'll revisit that dream. ( )
  pussreboots | Sep 6, 2014 |
This is a 33 page "graphic novel" (really more of a short story) that is about a woman who discovers a mobile library filled with all of the books she's read. If she's only read the first few pages, then the rest would be blank. After her first encounter she keeps searching for the bookmobile but only finds it when she is least looking for it every few years. And she keeps reading books so that they'll show up in the bookmobile and receive the approval of the librarian that runs it. She becomes a librarian and aspires to become a librarian for a night bookmobile, something she eventually achieves in a chilling manner.

The story is self-contained, although it promises to be the first installment in a longer work. I'm looking forward to the rest. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
A very interesting concept of a bookmobile encountered while wandering about in the very early morning hours, and discovering that it contains all the books ever read. Unfortunately, that very promising beginning does not deliver much more. The illustrations are OK, a bit stark, and certainly make the book look as if it were suitable for children but it is not a children's book.

I'm glad to have it. It will look good on my shelf next to The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore - a much superior and happier book about loving books. It I was to make a recommendation I'd say read the latter, not the former. ( )
1 vote maggie1944 | May 28, 2014 |
I loved this book! I felt so emotional reading it. I have had this very same notion of a place that is filled with all the books you have ever read. Kind of why I like goodreads...it holds on and catalogs all those books that have passed your way. I felt that this book gave a clearer view of the authors feeling on death and beyond then did some of her other works. This was my first graphic short story and I loved it.
UPDATE: Forgot to mention how much I loved the library vehicles! ( )
  dms02 | Feb 27, 2014 |
While I liked the fantasy aspect of this book (your own personal book mobile run by a ghost), the spinster librarian who only loves her books bit was rather upsetting, especially how with unstable Alexandra turned out to be. There was also a lack of character development that is understandable with a graphic novel, but the core idea (rather reminiscent of Borges's "Library of Babel") needs to be flushed out. ( )
  Bodagirl | Feb 16, 2014 |
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The first time I saw the Night Bookmobile,
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When I began writing The Night Bookmobile, it was a story about a woman's secret life as a reader. As I worked it also became a story about the claims that books place on their readers, the imbalance between our inner and outer lives, a cautionary tale of the seductions of the written word. It became a vision of the afterlife as a library, of heaven as a funky old camper filled with everything you've ever read. What is this heaven? What is it we desire from the hours, weeks, lifetimes we devote to books? What would you sacrifice to sit in that comfy chair with perfect light for an afternoon in eternity, reading the perfect book, forever?

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"The Night Bookmobile tells the story of a wistful woman who one night encounters a mysterious disappearing library on wheels that contains every book she has ever read. Seeing her history and most intimate self in this library, she embarks on a search for the bookmobile. But her search turns into an obsession, as she longs to be reunited with her own collection and memories" -- from publisher's web site.… (more)

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