The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger

Whoa…that was my first response to this graphic novel by the author who wrote The Time Traveller’s Wife.

First of all, I have to say that this book is dark. When I first started reading it, I though this kind of reminds me of myself. I like to read. A lot.

     “In the same way that perfume captures the essence of a flower, these shelves of books were a distillation of my life.”

I read this, and thought, “YES! That’s exactly what my books are to me. ” Yet, the woman in the story goes a little above and beyond this statement. She reads so much, she loses her boyfriend, her life and her future.

Sure, the books goes on to say that she eventually goes to library school and becomes a director of a library. But she is obsessed with her books. Her life is only for her books. I mean, I love to read, but dang. I have a life outside of my books. Shoot, I even blog about what I read. But it doesn’t consume my whole life.  I still live in reality. For me reading is for enjoyment. I love immersing myself into someone else’s story, feeling what they feel and seeing the world through different eyes. But it only lasts for the time it takes you to finish the book. You have to come back and live your life.

The most shocking part of the graphic novel, is the end. She is so caught up in wanting to work for this night bookmobile…she takes her own life. It turns out that the only way to become a librarian for the bookmobile and work at “The Library” is if you are dead. So she kills herself. And now she has her own night bookmobile. Um…CREEPY! I felt like I was reading something from the twilight zone.

In the afterward, Niffenegger does explain that this idea came from her teenage years. She said that she used to dream a lot that she had died.  This was one of those dreams. I honestly still don’t know what to make of the book. I don’t know if I like it, but it sure does make me contemplate my own reading habits. I know for a fact that I would NOT commit suicide over my love for books.

 Does that make me less of a reader? Am I not as passionate about books as I thought I was or should be?

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