Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bookmobiles and Doodle Bugs

I live out in the country. It’s not the complete boonies, but it certainly isn’t the city area I grew up in. I grew up with a fantastic little library that made up for lack of size by stocking its shelves with the best books. And then we, my family and I, moved.

Now out here we have five tiny county libraries, widespread in places a ways away were we rarely ever go. For a while I was sad about my lack of a library, and sought to content myself with the books we already owned, but then a neighbor told us about the Bookmobile.

A Bookmobile? Such a thing had been heard of before, but only in a fictional horse book. Yet this one was real, and it came to a house within walking distance of our house (for some reason, though, we’ve never walked to it). It comes every month, a white van with specially made shelves that are laden with books, and we meet it every month. It is inter-connected with the five little county libraries, so a week before it comes, I search through the country library catalog and send in a book request to the wonderful outreach people. And they bring me the books!

This month I came off the Bookmobile with thirteen books. Sometimes I leave with more, though occasionally I leave with less. We get movies and CDs from the Bookmobile as well, and we get to keep them for the whole month. Right now I’m going through all the Lori Wick books the system has, four or five a month at a time. I do believe she is one of my favorite authors.

Now that I’ve covered the Bookmobile, I’ll go on to Doodle Bugs.

Everyone has seen a Volkswagen. –unless I miss my guess-. And a number of people have been in them. I personally love them. (but I’ve never driven one). One of my childhood heroes that I knew had both a VW Bug and a horse, and I thought that was incredibly amazing, and that she was so lucky. (And I fancied myself the most fortunate horse-crazy pre-teen in the world when she drove me out to the horse farm in her VW and then let me ride her horse.)

My Volkswagen love came along when I watched Herbie Rides Again. That movie sparked a VW collection, and the incessant road game of calling out “DOODLE-BUG!” every time I saw one. And my mom also ended up buying a couple books on VW Bugs.

The first one is called Small Wonder, by Walter Henry Nelson, and I remember my dad reading it to my sister and me each night before we went to bed. And it is subtitled, The Amazing Story of the Volkswagen. It is non-fiction, yet I don’t remember being bored by it. It tells all about how the little car came to be, in full detail, starting at “The Years of Preparation”, and going through Hitler and the Nazi’s, the War, improvisation, “The Years of Fulfillment”, introducing the VW to the USA, “A Matter of Taste”, “Volkslore”(which is my favorite chapter), on to the final chapter, “Postscript 1970: Transition Toward Tomorrow” (yeah, it’s copyright 1970). It is most thorough, and definitely a good book for anyone who wants to know all about the VW Bug’s beginnings and its history through to 1970.

“Volkslore” is the most fun chapter of the book, having to do with floating Beetles and racing VW’s, pranks (like college kids burying them under leaves in Autumn)and sentiments for the little car, along with other humorous stories and anecdotes about it and several jokes. …One VW owner says to another, “My engine is missing,” and the other replies, “Are you in luck! They gave me a spare one in my truck.”

The second VW book is Beetle: Volkswagen’s Little Giant: From old Reliable to New Sensation, by the Auto Editor’s of Consumer Guide. It covers the Bug’s history with much less detail than Small Wonder, it’s main characteristic being stunning pictures (most of them color) of VW’s through the years. It also points out the various different details of the Bug during the different year, like the chrome being here, and the lights being this way, the hubcaps being flatter this year and such. It’s a beautiful coffee-table book. I love the pictures in it… (*starts paging through and gets distracted….*)

One more VW book. My most recent one. It’s a children’s book published by “Little Golden Book”, called The Love Bug: Herbie’s Special Friend. It’s a cute little story starring Herbie, and I can read it to my cousins in a few minutes, and enjoy every bit of it.”

“Did you have to do that, Herbie?” Bill groaned. “Now I’ll never get to meet her!”

The VW books, along with a small selection of my Bug collection. The new blue bug second from the right is my very favorite (his name is William), and a painting that a good friend of mine did for me of Herbie.


  1. Your Bookmobile sounds awesome! And I remember that little Altadena library very well, especially since I used to walk to it every day with my brother during the summer. Ah, memories... :)

    ~ A.K. ~

  2. Hey Kirstin,
    I'm glad to see you have a blog!

    Nice Beetle collection -- the little ones look like baby beetles next to the bigger ones.

    I see I'm not the only one who opens an interesting book and gets distracted.( Now I get distracted by interesting websites, blogs, and youtube videos too.) And I'm glad the Bookmobile is available. Hopefully, it keeps you out of trouble and off the streets. :-)

    That's a nice design for your blog header.