Books, Will Travel"
“When I get a little
money I buy books;
and if any
is left, I buy food and clothes”
here!” I heard my friend say as I picked up the phone.
in 10 minutes,” I said as I hung up and went flying out
screen door as only a twelve year old can. My mother
after me, “Don’t slam the door!” but it was too late.
down the road to meet my girlfriend. It was summer break,
had been out for a couple of weeks, and now the bookmobile was here!
opening the doors of the wardrobe in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series,
was to enter the huge enclosed bus-like vehicle and reach
the shelf, open a book, and enter another world.
came to our town during the summer and it was
parked next to the curb, sideways, taking up several parking spaces in
of the Baring Hotel. There were bicycles along the curb also as
showed up to check out books. I would usually see people
visiting with each other as they waited because there wasn’t room for
to be inside at the same time. It was a social event as well as
to check out new reading material. The bookmobile had air-conditioning,
when it wasn’t on the fritz, so most people weren’t in a great
to leave anyway since nobody in our town had air conditioning back then.
books in our home and a library in our small school but the bookmobile
a variety of books on almost any subject you could think of,
biographies to historical novels. If you wanted a book that wasn’t
librarian would write it down and try to bring it on the bookmobile’s next
people in rural areas had very little access to books unless
traveled to a larger town. In the 1950s there wasn’t a Hastings,
& Noble, or even a Wal-Mart with a book section nearby like there is
of books probably came from my parents who liked to read and
being a schoolteacher may have had a lot to do with it too.
began teaching in a one-room schoolhouse and finished her career
school librarian so books were always around our house.
long until I had read most of the books that were at home
in the classrooms at school. Some of us were hooked on reading from
first grade teacher, Miss Marie, taught us “See Spot run! Run! Run!
the Dick and Jane books, I had moved on through all the series books
as Cherry Ames, Nancy Drew, and Little House on the Prairie. We yearned
reading material and I remember my cousin once managed to borrow
sister’s book, Gone With The Wind, and we both read it when we were
12 years old. Now that we had the bookmobile, we knew we would
to read more such books.
we think of the bookmobile as beginning in the 1950s, the idea
been around a long time. I have been told that books were once distributed
and communities by horse-drawn wagons. After World War II
were sometimes carried in the trunks of cars to different areas.
specifically designed bookmobiles were in existence,
buses were converted for that purpose.
no longer comes to town but we still have libraries.
are always better than the movies they create from them because
is a lot more detail than can be put into a two-hour film.
John Le Carre once said, “Having your book turned into a movie
seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes.”
ago, before television and video games, families would
“reading time” together. This summer why not turn off the TV, get out
of the classics like Tom Sawyer or Little Women and read
or grandchildren. If you don’t have the books, your local library does.
not have a magic wardrobe or a bookmobile but if you just open a
book and begin to read, the book has a magic all it’s own to transport
to faraway places even though you have not moved from where you sit.
I've traveled the world
Met the famous; saints
Poets and artists,
kings and queens,
Old stars and hopeful
I've been where no-one's
Learned secrets from
writers and cooks
All with one library
To the wonderful world