The Night Bookmobile

The Night Bookmobile made me dream. It’s a graphic novel about a woman out on a late night walk (she’s quarreled with her fella) and happens across a bookmobile. She discovers that within this odd sight is everything she’s ever read. From all her books to her own diary. I gasped when I read that.  For that is truly a reader’s dream! I wanted to find a night bookmobile of my own. I imagined the forgotten treasures I would find in my own version. My childhood diaries, Archie comics, picture books, magazines, my favorite series and books, books, books of all sorts. What fun!

Alexandra is equally smitten. She seeks out the bookmobile again and again, but it never turns up and it is years till she sees it again. In the meantime, she goes to library school and becomes a librarian herself, with the dream of one day working in the night bookmobile. And all the time reading, not just for herself, but also for her personal collection: “Like a pregnant woman eating for two, I read for myself and the librarian.”

I’ve never quoted from a graphic novel before but here were such gems:

“In the same way that perfume captures the essence of a flower, these shelves of books were a distillation of my life.”
“Each spine was an encapsulated memory, each book represented hours, days of pleasures, of immersion in words.”

It is such a dreamy story. But the ending tossed me out of my dreamy state – I won’t spoil it for you, if you haven’t read it yet. I still wouldn’t mind coming across my own night bookmobile though.


  1. Thank you for reminding me about this one. I really want to read it, and I need to see if my ‘brary has it. Though it’s one I might be willing to buy at some point. Love Niffenegger!


  2. I’ve yet to find a copy of this one at the library, but I’m curious. Have you read her The Three Incestuous Sisters? There were things I liked about it, but I didn’t love it the way that I thought I might. Which is why, even though I love the sounds of this one’s bookishness, I’m not sure enough to buy it outright…


    1. Hmm… I think I might have glanced at The Three Incestuous Sisters. I don’t remember…. well, anything about it at this point! When I started on The Night Bookmobile, I was all: oh I have to buy a copy of this! I need to read it again! And I even started looking online to figure out how much it would cost me. However, similar to the way you feel about Sisters, in the end, I didn’t adore it as I thought I would have.


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