The Night Bookmobile

The Night Bookmobile - Audrey Niffenegger As for real-life bookmobiles, I was only in one a couple of times as a girl, but I thought they were the best thing ever.

"The night bookmobile seemed larger from the inside – much larger. The lighting was subdued but pleasant. The whole place smelled of old, dry paper, with a little whiff of wet dog, which I like."

My memory of the actual bookmobile is that it was actually smaller in there than it looked but, when it comes to other libraries, I agree that inside they do seem bigger.

Anyway, Alexandra's bookmobile is hers. It's personal. She finds all her favourite books in there. They all hold memories for her.

"My childhood: hours spent in airless classrooms, days home sick from school reading Nancy Drew, forbidden books read secretively late at night. Teenage years reading – trying to read – books I’d heard were important, Naked Lunch and The Fountainhead, Ulysses and Women in Love…"

The artwork is quite wonderful. Sometimes the perspective leaves the viewer with a very simple image, Alexandra and the Wiinebago in the night. Sometimes it is a very detailed close-up, with individual spines legible.

Things are not always neat and tidy and bordered. The stairs of the Winnebago might cut into the top corner of the neighbouring panel. A hand might extend from one panel outward to the reader, eclipsing part of a panel beneath.

(More on Buried In Print, if you're keen.)