Books can change lives, broaden our horizons and make us better people. But it’s not only the authors that we should be grateful for but all those who allow us to access them and instil the joy of reading. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most innovative nomadic libraries and bookshops worldwide.
Il Bibliomotocarro, Italy
Il Bibliomotocarro offers more than a mobile library. It is a charming Italian tale about books, children and friendship. This story was made possible by retired Italian teacher Antonio La Cava, who has the noble goal of spreading the love for reading to children. He travels through the villages of Basilicata, Italy, with his cute library on wheels. This helps to encourage reading among local children.
The Book Barge, UK
The Book Barge is a narrowboat cruiser that dates back to 60′. It sails the waters of England and Wales carrying a wide range of secondhand and new volumes. The floating bookshop, founded by Sarah Henshaw (an entertainment journalist), plans to cross the Channel and live in France.
Street Books, Portland, USA
Street books, a mobile library powered by bicycles in Portland, was created for those who live outside. Laura Moulton, a writer and artist, started the project in the summer of 2011, intending to provide books to the homeless. But it has had a much greater impact. This quirky trailer, painted blue, is full of strange books and serves as an icebreaker, mood-setting, and conversation starter for passersby.
La Carreta Literaria, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
Martin Roberto Murillo Gomez was a ten-year-old Colombian businessman who sold cold water bottles in Cartagena de Indis, Colombia. He now carries a cart filled with books that he lends to those who can’t afford them. He is not an author, but his mobile library is a great initiative to encourage reading, his greatest passion.
Word on the Water, UK
Word On the Water: The London Bookbarge resides at Paddington Basin Canal. It is the only floating secondhand bookstore in London. The fascinating collection of books includes everything in art, photography, cult, contemporary fiction, etc.
Pushcart and Penguin Book Truck, USA
Penguin Book Truck, Pushcart was inspired by a New York City hotdog cart. It is now the first mobile bookstore of Penguin Group (USA). The bright orange wagon, based in NYC, transports books to different locations and events throughout the country.
Words on Wheels, Fort Worth (USA),
An old school bus has been transformed into a nomadic library. WoW ( words on wheels) makes its way up to Fort Worth’s vibrant Magnolia Avenue. Visitors are invited to browse hundreds of magazines and books. The bus is open to all, and anyone can borrow books or sit down and enjoy the atmosphere.
Epos has been providing books and entertainment to remote villages along the west coast of Norway since 1963, when it was constructed. The 85-foot vessel is packed with more than 6.000 volumes and sails through the three counties of Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane each year from September to April.
The Biblioburro is a unique and innovative travelling library in rural Magdalena, Colombia. The program was started by Luis Soriano, a primary school teacher. It is designed to encourage the love of reading among children in rural areas who may not otherwise have access. Solano, along with his donkeys Alfa, and Beto, embarks on a special trip to select villages in the region twice a week to bring books to children.
Lisbon, Portugal – Tell a Story
Tell A Story is a travelling book van that promotes national literature to tourists. It’s filled with translated Portuguese books and wanders through beautiful Lisbon. The Writers’ Font is a typesetting facility created by the travelling book van. It teaches visitors how to write in the calligraphy used by Portugal’s greatest writers.