For The Love Of Reading: 5 Creative Mobile Libraries From Around The World


Suppose yourself to be stuck in a desolate forest. There is absolutely no way out. Each road ushers you back to the same place. You have no way to get in contact with anybody for help. You are trapped and ambushed. Wouldn’t it be perfect if appeared out of of nowhere, a vehicle sort of structure carrying on itself, an interminable supply of books?

Of course… not.

However a commuting vehicle carrying a library on it for people to read is still a pretty awesome, creative and intriguing concept in itself. Such vehicles are deemed as ‘book mobiles‘, ‘mobile libraries‘ or ‘bus libraries‘. The main motive of these mobile libraries is to bring books into the lives of people who aren’t fortunate enough with the access to them, such as occupants of retirement homes, disabled volunteer war heroes in veteran homes, or people living in distant towns and villages.

TYS brings to you the most creative mobile libraries from around the world and some mind boggling brass tacks about them.


1. The Bangalorean Mobile Libraries

Not one, not two but three mobile libraries in Bangalore run throughout the city, with 80% of books in Kannada and the rest 20% composed in English, Tamil and Hindi. These buses are a huge attraction for Bangalorean housewives who appreciate wholeheartedly the dropping down of books at their doorsteps, obviously not for free but for minimal charges. These portable libraries grant 3 books to a customer at a time, for a period of 15 days within which they have to return it back.

People also could sit inside, read and enjoy the wind blowing through the window as the bus translocates from one suburb to another. Another amazing fact about these mobile libraries are, that they have a whole lot of books for children thereby making the bus a popular picnic spot for Bangalorean youngsters. So if you are a kid in Bangalore and a stranger offers you a book to read and a bus to read it in, it is highly possible that you are not getting kidnapped.



2. The Edinburgh Book Bus

Again an allurement to the younger audience, the Edinburgh Book Bus, from the inside, looks like a colorful nursery for children to loosen up and relax. The bus solely aims to inculcate the interest of learning and reading into children. This mobile library tries to bestow children with memorable reading experiences by providing a colorful and eye-warming ambience on the inside. The Edinburgh Book Bus goes around to various schools, orphanages and community centres with a goal to kindle the love for reading. Such amazing service, almost dampens the eye of us book lovers, with tears of joy.


3. The Camel Bookmobile

Someone in Kenya either felt really creative one fine morning or got really drunk the previous night, and came up with the idea of commuting books using a camel as the mode of transport. The idea surprisingly worked really well whatsoever. Camels travel to secluded regions of the North-Eastern province of Kenya near the border of Somalia outsourcing books. Each camel travels up to four settlements per day, four days a week. Most of the books are either in Swahili or English. The citizens feel rejuvenated after reading books about different things in the outside world, especially because there is not much of a frolic in these mildly desolated places.  So unless a Kenyan is a sheer hater of language or the camels go rogue, these bookmobiles cater pretty cool experiences.

See how you can contribute to the initiative, here.



4. Biblioburro

Operating near the caribbean shore of Columbia, the Biblioburro is a donkey duo named Alfa and Beta who carry books on their backs and distribute them to various patrons. The program was given life by a primary school teacher Luis Soriano who himself is a huge book enthusiast. Alfa and Beta were the two reasons behind the expansion of Luis’ collection to 4800 copies, and enormous donations for his very own book. Besides encyclopaedia volumes, novels and medical texts, the Biblioburros also carry many children’s adventure story and animal fable books.


5. Tell A Story

Tell a Story is a bookmobile which runs all throughout the city of Lisbon. Targeted at an audience of tourists, It has books which contain content that is translated from Portuguese to English, Italian, French and Spanish. It also has various featured books containing unique stories about the country’s culture mechanisms and language. There is a wide variety of books of genre ranging from literature to romance, some of them remarkably written in abstract and surreal language. Tell a Story literally carries a plethora of stories along with it; however the mystery still remains how these books do not fall out of their shelves onto the roads when the vehicle in under motion.



Since now you know something like libraries on wheels/animals can exist, all those of you with raging entrepreneur spirits should probably try using some weird combination of two useful elements of everyday life as your business idea. Who knows, maybe a gym on the train, or gaming computers in a restaurant is precisely what some people might need.


Photos courtesy of – Indian Express, Daily Herald, Tribune, ebookfriendly     


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