Category: Book Culture

These 5 Mobile Libraries Are Changing Kid’s Lives

It’s no secret that books can change a person’s life and growth, and for children this is even more true. The harsh truth is this is a fact that many of us can take for granted without realizing it. Depending on where you live, access to books may be as easy as a click of the mouse. But what about those who have no internet access or even basic necessities? This article is taking a very depressing turn, my apologies, and let me turn this around and say there is hope.

That hope is in a little thing called “mobile libraries.” It’s a new movement occurring in different areas throughout the world, and it brings books, community, and hope to these children looking to shoot for the stars.


Bokbaten Epos (The Library Boat) – Norway


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Image via Elite Readers


With humble beginnings in 1959, the idea of a sea borne library was created and pioneered by who else but librarians. Many small communities that live on islands in the Fjords are virtually isolated from the world in Winter. As small communities, they do not have libraries of their own, and that’s how the Library Boat came to be. The purpose and hope of those behind these boats is to enrich the lives of the isolated communities. With the 6,000 print and audio books that the boat brings, culture and entertainment is brought to the people in what is normally a very bleak time for them. The crew behind this noble cause is the captain to navigate the icy seas, a couple of librarians of course, and a cook and two entertainers to boot! Sounds like the perfect way to warm up on a cold day.



Arma de Instruccion Masiva (Weapon of Mass Instruction) – Argentina



Image via Público


The “Weapon of Mass Instruction” is an art/social project created by artist Raúl Lemesoff. The mobile sculpture is a tuned 1979 Ford Falcon shaped in the appearance of a mini-military tank, barrel and all. According to the blog Público, Raúl’s design most likely “mockingly refers to the tanks of the sinister Military Junta that dismissed Isabel Perón in 1976″, which, in short, was a very politically turbulent time for the country. More than making a political statement however, Raúl’s project is a movement, and I’m not talking about the motor function. The idea is what was once a weapon will now be used to donate books. Transporting more than 2,500 books at a time, Raúl travels across the country to bring culture and education to the to the most disadvantaged neighborhoods of Argentine cities. After nine years of book donating, the “Weapon of Mass Instruction” is considered a symbol of protest against actual weapons of mass destruction. The pen is mightier than the sword after all, so rather than being a force of destruction, Raúl Lemesoff’s project is a beacon of peace and reprieve for the youth of Argentina.




Biblioburro (The Donkey Library) – Colombia


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Image via PBS


This book donating program was created in La Gloria, Colombia, by Luis Soriano. As a teacher, Luis was concerned that his students had no access to books at home, and decided to do something about it. What he created was a traveling library that distributes books to its patron from the backs of two Donkeys. Rather than packing the saddles with water, Soriano has adapted his two Donkeys’, Alfa and Beto’s, packsaddles to carry books. Luis’ mission is that people will understand the power of reading and that communities can improve with the right support. How right he is. More than 4,000 children have have benefited from Soriano’s program since it began in 1990. In an interview with BBC, Soriano shared his belief in a child’s growth.

“Kids wise up when they pick up a book. Their surprise and imagination meet together, you see them starting to laugh by themselves, just by seeing the book.”



The Kenyan Camel Library – Kenya


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Image via Wired


Similar to Luis Soriao’s Biblioburro, The Kenyan Camel Library is a mobile library of camels carrying books. Operated by the Garisa office of the Kenya National Library Service, these camels brings books to children in isolated, poor schools within a 15 kilometer radius of the city. With nine camels and three caravans, lends more than 7,000 books to nomads in Kenya’s impoverished North East Province, trekking across vast desserts for days at a time. In spite of the trials, the service has found huge success, with 3,500 members registered. Every time the Camels travel through a town, they are welcomed with open arms and with the glow of excitement on every child’s face. The service is so popular they can’t meet the demand of books, but with what they can do it has made a world of a difference to these children who otherwise would not have as much opportunity.



Bibliomotocarro (Booktruck) – Italy


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Image via


Retired school teacher Antonio La Cava is the mastermind behind Italy’s booktruck. He put his love of learning and books to use and converted his three-wheeled van into a mobile library with a very homey look to it. The booktruck has a very a welcoming design of a house, complete with a tiled roof, chimney, windows, and a fireplace, but no worry about that last part. The children’s books that Antonio carries are safe from any fire of course. Reaching the most remote places in Italy such as the villages and small towns, Antonio has traveled more than 100,000 kilometers, on three different trucks. For over 16 years he has spread the wonder of reading to children who formerly did not have access to it. Living his retirement to the fullest by continuing his passion as a teacher, Antonio hopes his booktruck brings the message that culture is made by and for everyone, not just a privileged few. In an interview with BBC, Antonio shared his hopes with the world.

“I was strongly worried about growing old in a country of non-readers….carrying out such action has a value, not only social, not only cultural, but has a great ethical meaning.”



To learn more:





Featured Image via inkefalonia


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Kristofer Hivju Says an Alternate ‘GoT’ Ending Exists

According to CNN, Kristofer Hivju claims that an alternate ending to the legendary, infamous, and notorious series finale of Game of Thrones exists.

“We shot an alternative ending,” the Hivju said at the British Film Institute in London. “That was mostly for fun, but I don’t know if I’m allowed to tell you about that.”



Like legions of fans, Hivju explains that he was surprised by how the series ended.

“The funny thing is after Season 7, I had my theories, fans had theirs’, everybody, the cast had their theories, so there were thousands of theories,” he continued. “To choose one path would be difficult to say but there were many things I didn’t see coming; there was the element of surprise, which I liked.”

An HBO representative was contacted about the claim, but suggested Hivju might have been joking.

Either way, fans may never find the closure they’re looking for. #ReleasetheSnydercut. I mean GOTcut…



Featured Image via CNN


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Bookstr’s Three to Read This Week 11/21/19

Thanksgiving is coming up. We’ll have license to feast, families will resume internal feuds, the Goku balloon will make its return to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Dragonball Z still counts as a book too). Anyway, there’s plenty of stuff and stuffing to be thankful for, including these new book releases!

Check out Bookstr’s Three to Read, the three books we’ve picked for you to read this week!


Our Hot Pick

Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History




An important book for readers of all ages, this beautifully illustrated and engagingly written volume brings to life true stories of black men in history.
Among these biographies, readers will find aviators and artists, politicians and pop stars, athletes and activists. The exceptional men featured include artist Aaron Douglas, civil rights leader John Lewis, dancer Alvin Ailey, filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, musician Prince, photographer Gordon Parks, tennis champion Arthur Ashe, and writer James Baldwin.
The legends in this book span centuries and continents, but what they have in common is that each one has blazed a trail for generations to come.



New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Vashti Harrison returns with her latest addition to the hit Little nonfiction series. Harrison provides an enlightening crash course on some of history’s most iconic figures and unsung heroes that may have been previously overlooked. Their achievements span across all fields of study and professions you can think of, and surely will inspire future icons in the making.



Our Coffee Shop Read

Ronin Island Vol. 1




After a mysterious attack devastates a great swath of 19th century Japan, Korea, and China, survivors from all three lands find refuge on a hidden island and build a new society. Hana, the orphaned daughter of Korean farmers, and Kenichi, son of a great samurai leader, have little in common except for a mutual disdain for the other. But these young warriors will have to work together when an army invades the island with shocking news: the Shogun has returned and the Island is expected to pay fealty in exchange for protection from a new threat…a mutated horde that threatens to wipe out all humanity.

Written by bestselling author Greg Pak (Mech Cadet Yu, Star Wars) and beautifully illustrated by Giannis Milonogiannis (Old City Blues, Prophet), Ronin Island explores an idealistic coming-of-age story against the backdrop of a morally grey time of war where the reasons for fighting are questioned at every turn.



Comics superstar Greg Pak has written epic contributions to the superhero genre before, but is now taking on an ambitious reinterpretation of history with some mythic flare. It’s Seven Samurai meets monster-invasion-apocalypse—brought to life with the art of Giannis Milonogiannis. Pull a Samurai Jack and travel to another land and time from the seat of your local coffee spot (he went to the future, but you get the idea).



Our Dark Horse

The Bromance Book Club




The first rule of book club:
You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.



It seems as though men have feelings too, and they show it when and where you least expect it. Some guys hype you up for a touchdown, other guys hype you up to save your marriage. With heart and humor, author Lyssa Kay Adams captures one of life’s many beautiful and nourishing occurrences that is the bromance—the loving companionship between dudes that lifts them up, and genuinely makes their lives better. If you can’t get enough, Booklist promises that, “Readers will look forward to more books in the Bromance Book Club series after this promising start.”



All In-text Images Via Amazon.


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#Bookstagrammer of the Week: @bookpairings

Want to see your favorite Bookstagrammer featured next? Message @bookstrofficial here.


This Week’s Featured creator: @bookpairings


Each week Bookstr is going to be highlighting your favorite Bookstagrammers. A Bookstagrammer is someone who shares all of their literary interests, ranging from book reviews and aesthetically pleasing book pictures to outfit pictures featuring their current reads. Anything that evokes bibliophile feels is on their Instagram pages. Make sure to give these Bookstagrammers the love they deserve! This week we are getting to know a Bookstagrammer with a passion for books and indie bookshops: Laci, or as you would know her on Instagram, @bookpairings.

Here is her story:


image via @bookpairings


Chapter 1: The Birth of a Bookstagram Account



Laci started Bookstagram as a fun project to cope with a difficult period in her life, and her account took off from there.


I started posting “Bookstagram” posts on my personal account during the summer of 2015 when I was recovering from my second brain surgery in 6 months. I have always loved reading and when I found a community of book lovers at my fingertips I decided I wanted to join the conversation. 

Because I’m the type of person who needs a project, even when I should be resting, I decided I would create my own Bookstagram account and see how it goes. That was in August of 2015 and it’s crazy to think I have posted almost everyday since then and 41K+ people care about my opinions of books and enjoy my very eclectic reading recommendations. 


Laci usually reads over 100 books a year, but her favorite books include classic reads such as:

As well as some more contemporary books like:



If given the choice, Laci would take a selfie with Margaret Atwood, her favorite author.


image via @bookpairings


Laci is a part of the Harry Potter, The Night Circus, Game of Thrones, and Good Omens fandoms.


Besides being book-obsessed, she also loves wine tasting.

I almost went through the training and testing to become a sommelier. I am a total oenophile and it’s another thing I love sharing with people. 


Chapter 2: To The Bookstagramming


Laci’s photography style definitely gives off a very memorable vibe, but how would she define this aesthetic?

When it comes to the photography aspect of my content, I always strive for cozy feeling photos with warm tones. I like to find interesting textures and angles so I am constantly experimenting.

I love to play with woodgrain and books for texture and I love using shadow for moodier photos.



She also has some photography advice for new Bookstagrammers.

In terms of photography, play around and you’ll improve post by post. You’ll find your aesthetic faster if you experiment and reflect on why you love certain photos.


Laci sticks to a specific posting schedule, so you’ll always know when to look for her newest bookish photos.

I generally post every morning between 7am-8am PST during the week and on the weekends I either post around 12pm or 5pm. I’ve done a lot of experimenting to find the optimal time for engagement, but it also depends a little bit on my schedule. I want to be able to respond to every single comment on my posts, so I try to post when I know I will be able to check-in periodically to reply. 


image via @bookpairings


So what are Laci’s personal favorite Bookstagram accounts?

It’s too hard to choose just a few! Here are some of my favorites:













I could go on and on.



Chapter 3: What does bookstagram mean to you?


It’s clear that Laci is very involved in the Bookstagram community, so what does her Bookstagram mean to her personally?

I am still stunned that my account has garnered as many followers as it has. I know that I work hard on each post behind the scenes, but I continue to be humbled by the Bookstagram community. To me my page is a place where I can share my love of books with other amazing, supportive book lovers. I feel like I have grown a lot personally since I started and I am lucky to have made some amazing friends within the community as well. 

I strive for authenticity when creating my content above all else. I want to share the books I am genuinely interested in reading and the books I love even if they aren’t the most hyped. I still get sucked into the new releases hype from time to time, but I’d like to think I also get less well-known or well-marketed books on the radar of my followers.

I hope that my Bookstagram inspires people to read outside of their comfort zones.



image via @bookpairings


Her final word to fellow Bookstagrammers and book lovers?

Support your local libraries and indie bookstores when you can. They provide so many services to their communities and it’s becoming harder and harder for them to survive with big business looming.


Featured image via @bookpairings



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Sarah Dessen Apologizes to Grad Student for Twitter Outrage

Sarah Dessen is well known for her Young Adult contemporary novels. This past summer she released her fourteenth novel, The Rest of the StoryAll of her novels focus on a teen girl, so of course her key demographic is teen girls, but apparently Northern State University found her novels compelling enough to add to their “Common Read”, which is a book the entire university is asked to read. One of the students attending the school at the time decided to voice her opinion, in which she stated according to Newsweek, that Dessen is great for teens but is not up to the level of Common Read, so she worked closely with the program to stop them from choosing one of her books.


Image via Sorrywatch



Dessen then took it upon herself to post a screenshot of the comment, which then led to fans and authors rallying to her side. Authors such as Jodi Picoult, Angie Thomas, Jenny Han, Roxane Gay and many more.


Image via Trendmap


Then a couple days later, Dessen decided to apologize for the twitter outrage she caused and the attack on the student that made the comment.



Image via Notheydidnt


Other authors followed suit and even the school tweeted an apology. The girl however had to deactivate her social media accounts due to backlash from fans for her comment, which was made in 2016. She now studies languages with a focus on cyber harassment. According to her, she is using her experience as a guide to help her understand how language is used to express many different perspectives.



Featured image via Newsobserver



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