Long before Amazon, Audible, and other digital book distributors, bookmobiles were bringing literature to peoples' doorsteps. Their mission was to provide the written word to remote villages and city suburbs that had no libraries. We invite you to remember these almost forgotten four-wheelers of the past.

The first bookmobile is believed to have appeared in Warrington, England in the late 1850s. It was a horse-drawn cart, and lent about 12,000 books during its first year of service. Later, mobile libraries were installed inside vehicles and reached the height of their popularity in the mid-20th century when they had become a part of Americal life.

Although bookmobiles are still operated in some parts of the world by libraries, schools, activists, and other organizations, they are widely thought to be an outdated service due to high costs, advanced technology and impracticality.

(h/t: vintageeveryday, messynessychic)

An Opened Bookmobile, 1925

An Opened Bookmobile, 1925

Sissy Hankshaw 3 years ago

jeeeze.. what a great way to spend your life... driving around with this exactly car, bringing books to the people.

The First Bookmobile Of The Public Library Of Cincinnati, 1927

The First Bookmobile Of The Public Library Of Cincinnati, 1927

JillVille Child Care 3 years ago

I just love how proper everyone dressed back then!

A Mobile Library In Kurdistan, Iran, 1970

A Mobile Library In Kurdistan, Iran, 1970

Notchimine Mette 3 years ago

Shame, they only have about 12 books...

Inside A Bookmobile, 1960s

Inside A Bookmobile, 1960s

John Ashley 3 years ago

Although my grade school had plenty of books (that you could borrow) in every classroom, our grade school didn't have its own library, so a county library bookmobile came by. Looked a lot like this one. Got exposed to Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, Heinlein, and many other SF authors whose books they carried. Probably the only thing about school I looked forward to. Sincere thanks and cheers for the people of the Ohio Lucas County Library and their bookmobiles.

One Of The Library Bookmobiles, C. 1948.

One Of The Library Bookmobiles, C. 1948.

Helen Zuercher 3 years ago

That wagon (red of course) brings back memories!!

A Bookmobile In Indonesia, Early 20th Century.

A Bookmobile In Indonesia, Early 20th Century.

Yuke Picard 3 years ago

That must be in Jakarta (Batavia) or Surabaya. 

The Bookmobile In Columbia Park, C. 1940

The Bookmobile In Columbia Park, C. 1940

Fire Bird 3 years ago

That book that little girl is carrying, Nicodemus and his little sister by Inez Hogan, that book is worth a pretty penny today. I just saw one for sale for $225.00 on Alibris.com. There were a few Nicodemus books out there by the author.

Bookmobile

Bookmobile

Book Caravan In Iowa, C.1927

Book Caravan In Iowa, C.1927

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