Remember the bookmobile? We had a tiny library at my grade school that didn’t offer much variety. So, every few weeks the bookmobile would come by and we could go out in small groups to choose books. Heaven. The bookmobile had an aisle down the middle and books from floor to ceiling on either side. It smelled like . . . books. I wanted one almost as much as a horse.
Oh so long ago, before I was born, the bookmobile would actually go to people’s houses in the rural area where my family has lived for generations. My great-grandmother was an avid reader who went through bookmobile books in the order they were shelved–start with the As and work through to the Zs.
Word got out that someone was vandalizing books. No one knew who it could be. My father, a boy at the time, was sitting on the porch with Grandma Jane when he heard a tearing sound. He looked over to see that she had torn a page from the book she was reading. Apparently, there was something unacceptable written there. She felt it was her duty to protect the innocent. And having known her when I was a child, I doubt anyone would have dared to make her stop. Grandma Jane was a force.
I’m currently reading Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin. It’s set in rural Kentucky during the Depression. The main character becomes a reluctant librarian delivering books to patrons in the hills and hollers of the mountains via the bookmobile’s predecessor–a horse. It almost makes me wish I’d lived back then. Books AND horses. This so would have been my dream job if only I’d known sooner.