Daily Archives: April 10, 2011

Book Review: The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger

Title: The Night Bookmobile
Author: Audrey Niffenegger
Publisher:  Jonathan Cape, London
PP: 64
Genre: Graphic Novel
ISBN:  9780224089524
Price: £16.99
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5

I am mesmerized by anything that is written about books or on the love of reading. It makes you connect in ways, as a reader that only other readers will understand and the bond will be instant. Of books and reading, of discussing authors – known and unknown, of living immersed in words – whether physical or on your e-readers, the bottom line is : Readers connect anywhere in the world and that is how it must be.

For a very long time, I have wanted to read this graphic novel only because this would have been my first by Audrey Niffenegger. I haven’t read any of her novels and I thought this would be the best place to start.            

So, “The Night Bookmobile” is as the title suggests about a Night Bookmobile Library that is open from dusk till dawn and that’s that. It is run by a certain Robert Openshaw – the librarian, and in it one fine early morning – 3am to be precise walks in Alexandra, after a fight with her boyfriend only to discover books she has read all through the years, stacked in the mysterious mobile library. Years pass and she comes across the mobile library only when it wants to show itself to her. She reads with every year passing and those books keep adding to the library. How? That is another part of the story. Alexandra wants to work for the library, however cannot. Why? Well to know that, you would to have to read this gem of a graphic novel about books for lovers of books.

What I loved about this book? The fact that it was so wistfully written – as if in a dream state and maybe it was. The illustrations are fantastic as well. As I read this graphic novel (hate to use the term, however there is no other way to describe the genre) I had this perpetual smile across my face, as the hungry reader, could relate to what was taking place. The want and need to be surrounded by books at all times seemed so satisfying that maybe had I been in the protagonist’s place, I would have given it all up, to be with books and read them endlessly.

One might think that there would be nothing to quote from a graphic novel at that, however here is one for you:

“Have you ever found your heart’s desire and then lost it? I had seen myself, a portrait of myself as a reader. My childhood: hours spent in airless classrooms, days home sick from school reading Nancy Drew, forbidden books 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…It was as though I had dreamt the perfect lover, who vanished as I woke, leaving me pining and surly. “

All I can say is that: If you are a reader and haven’t read this one, then maybe you aren’t a reader.