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The Night Bookmobile

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3.49  ·  Rating details ·  6,031 ratings  ·  1,341 reviews
First serialised in the Guardian, The Night Bookmobile tells the story of a young woman who one night encounters a mysterious disappearing mobile library that happens to stock every book she has ever read. Seeing her history and her most intimate self in this library, she embarks on a search for the bookmobile. Over time, her search turns into an obsession as she longs to ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 7th 2010 by Jonathan Cape (first published December 26th 2008)
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Average rating 3.49  · 
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 ·  6,031 ratings  ·  1,341 reviews


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Bionic Jean
"What would you sacrifice to sit in that comfy chair with perfect light for an afternoon in eternity, reading the perfect book, forever?"

The Night Bookmobile is the first graphic novel of Audrey Niffenegger, who also wrote the bestseller, The Time Traveler's Wife (2003) and Her Fearful Symmetry (2009). The description "graphic novel" is possibly rather grand, as this is much more of a short story length. In fact it actually started life as a short story, which presumably allowed more opportunity
...more
Joanna
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Autumn
Feb 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
I definitely expected something better here. I have no idea what the author wants me to come away with here. It's like the protagonist loved rediscovering all the books, magazines, periodicals, etc. she had ever read, but then later felt she had wasted all of her time reading, and thought of everything she had "given up" for reading. I, however, didn't see that at all, since she got a career and joy out of her passion for books, and found joy in her ever-expanding library. Weird and confusing en ...more
Hilary
Apr 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommended to Hilary by: Found in the library
A troubled young woman comes across a mobile library at night, strangely she finds all the books it contains are ones she has once read. I liked this story, it keeps you guessing what's going to happen. One thing I found troubling was that she really wanted to work for the mobile night library but was told she couldn't (view spoiler) I ...more
Crystal
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Always up for a good urban legend
Nanette Bulebosh
Jul 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What if there were a place that housed all the books you've ever read, from the picture books of your preschool years to the pile on your nightstand right now? What if that place were a mysterious bookmobile with rock music blaring loudly from its speakers and an enigmatic driver who knows more about you than you know yourself? What if that bookmobile only came around at night, and only every few years when you least expect it?

The narrator of this intriguing graphic novel, Alexandra, becomes ob
...more
Bella
May 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
I picked this one up because it's about a library and I saw the nice blurb by Neil Gaiman on back. Unfortunately I didn't find it at all to be a story "perfectly told". The Night Bookmobile is the first of a larger work being titled The Library, as explained by the author in the "after words". Because of this I feel it's possible that my understanding of the story is in fact out of context until I read the completed book. But since it is published here as a single book, I also find it fair to re ...more
Lacey Louwagie
Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Our library director urged everyone to read this book, so I read it during a slow time at the library. Although it's technically a graphic novel, the way the story is laid out is more like a picture book, with large chunks of expository text that are not integrated into the artwork. At first this was kind of a turn-off to me, and I didn't think the layout with it looked that great a lot of the time. But the story, about a woman who gets obsessed with finding a mysterious night bookmobile that co ...more
Melanti
The premise reminded me, very vaguely, of something that Charles de Lint might have written. There's a definite charm to the idea - a roving bookmobile that shows up only when you're not expecting it and contains everything you've ever read - right down to the backs of cereal boxes! What avid reader wouldn't want to browse around a collection like that? I know I smile when I encounter an old favorite in a place I don't expect it to be.

But the premise was about all I truly enjoyed. The drawings w
...more
Smitha Murthy
This was such a chance find at a little library in Dublin. I rarely read graphic novels. Not for lack of interest, but because books in this genre are so hard to come by, and so expensive in India! I had read Niffenegger’s ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ many years ago when I read nothing but contemporary fiction. I hadn’t known that she had penned a graphic novel. Exquisite in color, ‘The Night Bookmobile’ is an ode to the booklover in all of us. Quaint and esoteric, this invites you into a rich wor ...more
Ilana
★★★½ | As she’s taking a walk right after having a big argument with her boyfriend in the early hours of the morning, a woman finds a winnebago blaring loud music on a deserted street. The driver invites her to view the library inside, where she discovers that all the books on the shelves were once read by her, at some point in her life. The Night Bookmobile is only open from dusk till dawn, and when the driver politely asks her to leave as the sunlight begins to make its first appearance, she a ...more
Merrill
Dec 06, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eva
Apr 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This graphic novel is AWESOME! Of course, I both work in a library and am an avid reader, so I may be biased. [return]Niffenegger's main character, Alexandra runs across the title bookmobile during a late night/early morning walk. When she enters the bookmobile, its shelves are crammed with books she has read. The librarian, Mr. Openshaw, then tells her that it is "her" bookmobile, and it carries only what she has read. Very cool![return]She is ushered out of the bookmobile as dawn approaches. S ...more
Marianne
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Night Bookmobile is the third graphic novel by the best-selling author of The Time-Traveller’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger. It is a short story which has been beautifully illustrated by Niffenegger and tells the story of Alexandra who, wandering the streets of Chicago after an argument with her boyfriend late one night, comes across the night bookmobile. When she accepts the librarian’s invitation to browse, she finds that, to her amazement, it contains every book she has ever read. When the bo ...more
Elizabeth A
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphix, 2018, stories
From the after words: When I began writing The Night Bookmobile, it was a story about a woman's secret life as a reader. As I worked it also became a story about the claims that books place on their readers, the imbalance between our inner and outer lives, a cautionary tale of the seduction of the written word.

This graphic novel is a short story about a woman stumbling across a bookmobile, and how that encounter changes her life in unexpected ways. It starts out as one thing, then there is a twi
...more
Harris
Jan 07, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rita Meade
Jan 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book was a dark surprise. Being painfully insecure for a lot of my youth, I found refuge in books and often identified more with their characters than I did with real kids my age. (Thank God we all grow out of that phase, right? Right??) Subsequently, I completely understood the irrational yearning the protagonist felt about rediscovering all the books she's ever read in her life - I imagine it would be like reuniting with old friends. And, as my student loan bills illustrate, I could also ...more
Amanda
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was loving it, then it got morbid (which really isn't all that surprising for Audrey Niffenegger). But I still really liked it.
Ashley Owens
Mar 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
...... what the hell did I just read?
Heather Stewart
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Drew Constance
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Thoughts:

I miss the good old days of reading picture books and after recently throwing away the old censor that told me I am too old to read them, I decided that I was going to enjoy a book for being a book and forget about these thoughts or challenges that ask me to read one over 100 pages or it doesn’t count as reading a book. When I popped into the library yesterday with my partner I came upon a treasure of a picture book. Now called graphic novels or stories that are written for adults, The
...more
Kasey Jueds
May 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm in the middle of listening to Her Fearful Symmetry, and am loving it, and also just found The Night Bookmobile on the graphic novel shelf at the library. There's so much here in this little book... which, like one reviewer said, is more of a graphic short story than a graphic novel. But... like all amazing short stories... it is packed full, rich, deep, and somehow enormous. Of course it appeals to me as a book lover--that whole idea of a library containing every book you've ever read, your ...more
Dawn
Dec 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every book lover
Recommended to Dawn by: Jeffrey Cooper
WOW. Imaginative and moving and wonderful and creepy. I always imagined that our individual bibliographies were unique identifiers, like our fingerprints. Audrey Niffenegger depicts them as personal bookmobiles. I hope mine looks like the Partridge Family bus, and that orange drink is served instead of tea.

One of the most emotional moments in short narrative is when Alexandra contemplates all that she "had given up for reading." This line reminds avid readers that there are important differences
...more
Kris Springer
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very quick read. Surreal is best word to describe; found it enjoyable & haunting because of the subject matter--life of reading--and becoming consumed by it, which we can. In Niffenegger's "After Words" section, she wrote, "When I began writing The Night Bookmobile, it was a story about a woman's secret life as a reader. As I worked it also became a story about the claims that books place on their readers, the imbalance between our inner and outer lives, a cautionary tale of the seductions of th ...more
Teresa
Sep 21, 2014 rated it liked it
I liked the idea behind this book -- I'd love to have a library of every single thing I've ever read -- but it completely lost me three-fourths of the way through. I didn't care for the ending at all, nor was I sure what to make of it.
Lydia
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, graphic-novels
Okay, so the basic premise is that every person in the world (presumably) has a Bookmobile that is filled with everything they have ever read. The main character in this book finds her Bookmobile one night and becomes obsessed with it. But she doesn't find it again for many years.

I'm not quite sure what I was meant to come away from this thinking. It seemed to suggest that getting too involved with reading is bad? That we shouldn't forget to live our real lives by becoming obsessed with fictiona
...more
Jonathan Maas
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A haunting, quick tale - part urban legend, part fun.

Be warned though - this is not for kids. It's for adults - and even if you are adult, it may leave you a little shaken.

Still - very good!
Lora
Nov 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
christa
Mar 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Audrey Niffenegger has a good thing going on with her lobes. In her graphic novel "The Night Bookmobile" -- which walks like a children's book, but certainly doesn't talk like one, Alexandra goes out for a walk in the streets of Chicago in the middle of the night. She has recently fought with her boyfriend Richard, a ponytailed lover with no time for make believe. She finds a bookmobile blasting Bob Marley and gives the driver a little peek as she walks past.

Robert Openshaw greets her, invites h
...more
Robert
Jul 04, 2012 rated it liked it
I found this book interesting, and yet somehow not really satisfying.

Interesting because of the idea of the Night Bookmobile (which, beyond being the title, is hard to describe without spoilers, so I won't go further). I think it would be appealing to anybody who's an avid and devoted reader. We love books, we love reading, and we even love reading about books.

I think my lack of satisfaction had to do with 2 things:

1. The author only mentions in the "After Words" that this is "the first installm
...more
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10,861 followers
Audrey Niffenegger (born June 13, 1963 in South Haven, Michigan) is a writer and artist. She is also a professor in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Columbia College Chicago.

Niffenegger's debut novel, The Time Traveler's Wife (2003), was a national bestseller. The Time Traveler's Wife is an unconventional love story that centers on a man with a strange genetic disorder that causes him to unpre
...more

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“When I began writing The Night Bookmobile, it was a story about a woman's secret life as a reader. As I worked it also became a story about the claims that books place on their readers, the imbalance between our inner and outer lives, a cautionary tale of the seductions of the written word. It became a vision of the afterlife as a library, of heaven as a funky old camper filled with everything you've ever read. What is this heaven? What is it we desire from the hours, weeks, lifetimes we devote to books? What would you sacrifice to sit in that comfy chair with perfect light for an afternoon in eternity, reading the perfect book, forever?” 45 likes
“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: days home sick from school reading Nancy Drew, forbidden books read 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.” 24 likes
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