How would you react if you visited a library that consisted only of books, magazines, and anything else that you’ve ever read or written? Maybe you see the Little Golden Book you treasured as a child, or you glimpse your favorite mystery novel. Even a textbook for your college biology course finds its way to the shelves…and then you spot your diary!
This is what happens to Alexandra one night, when she goes for a walk. She sees an old Winnebago on the street playing her favorite music. Going against her better judgement, she enters to find a library that is definitely special, but when she finds her diary, it becomes magical as well. The library, whose hours are from dusk until down closes before she’s ready to leave it. After her visit, she obsesses about the Night Bookmobile and goes for long walks at night to find it again.
Eventually, Alexandra runs into the Night Bookmobile at different times in her life. Each time, she notices it has new shelves filled with the material she has read since her previous visit. Her obsession with the Night Bookmobile grows and grows and she even goes to school and becomes a librarian, hoping that someday, she can be a librarian for the Bookmobile. Eventually, Alexandra thinks she understands what she must do to fulfill her life’s dream, but is the price she has to pay worth it?
This book was a serialized graphic novel that appeared in the London Guardian. You may recognize the author for her books like the Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry. I checked out her website that also has some of her paintings and drawings on it. They have the same dark, eerie quality that her short graphic novel has. You can click here, if you’re interested in seeing some of her work.
So my opinion on The Night Bookmobile? It literally took me just a few minutes to read and was an interesting story. I’m not sure I’d tell someone to run to the library to get it, but I can imagine if it were slowly told in a newspaper, how people would be into the story. I’m not a fan of Niffeneggar’s drawings, they’re not really my style, so that kind of distracted from the story. But the story itself is great. It’s a cautionary tale of how someone can love something so much, it becomes an obsession and takes over her entire life. I guess if you’re a Niffeneggar fan, check it out. Otherwise, don’t obsess about it.
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