03 November 2010

Books on the Move

Many of us of a certain age, or in certain regions of our respective lands, recall the bookmobile, those grand (though sometimes grungy!) buses filled with books that came by regularly to our neighborhoods. Ours stopped right outside our house! 

I got my first library card (at age four) there.  We were allowed only a small number of books per week and my reading-voracious siblings didn't always have an extra 'space' on their checkout list.  So I went back inside our home and told my Dad that the librarian said "If you can sign your name, we'll give you a card."  My Dad taught me how to sign my name right then and there.  I proudly marched back to the bookmobile and claimed my right to read.  The librarian - who really didn't want to give a 4 year old her own card - was on the hook!  I got my card.

Travelling, portable libraries are another form of books on the move.  Here are some especially neat versions.

Two images of a lighthouse keeper's library box.  The Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy notes "Lighthouse traveling libraries were used to supply light stations with reading material. All boxes were numbered as this one was, #138."  Read more about it here.

Jess Haigh is the creative brain behind the Travelling Suitcase Library.

She says "For the past six months, I have been trailing a small blue two-wheeled suitcase. The Suitcase is the home of a new project, designed with readers in mind, called the Travelling Suitcase Library; and it is exactly what it says on the tin. I aim to provide a library service that brings the books to the people, and means that I get to spend a great deal of time talking about, ranting about and generally pawing over books." 

You can find more info here and at her blog.

Steampunker ersatz_read noted: "I've been wanting to make a portable library: some sort of cage or box that I could carry hands-free, and that would safely contain a few small books."  His/Her solution was brilliant and lovely.  Read more here.

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