When I was a kid, I remember going to the Bookmobile on the island. We went to the mainland fairly often to visit the library, but it was still fun to go to the Bookmobile when it came to the island. The other day, I found a story about something similar, yet very different.
Luis Soriana, a 36-year-old teacher in Colombia, loads up his two burros every weekend to take books to approximately 300 people that live near him. He picks up the books that they borrowed last time and lets them borrow new ones.
From the article: “This began as a necessity; then it became an obligation; and after that a custom,” he explained, squinting at the hills undulating into the horizon. “Now,” he said, “it is an institution.”
A whimsical riff on the bookmobile, Mr. Soriano’s Biblioburro is a small institution: one man and two donkeys. He created it out of the simple belief that the act of taking books to people who do not have them can somehow improve this impoverished region, and perhaps Colombia.
Soriano started out with only 70 books, but as he has become more well known, his book collection has grown to about 4,800. The people on his route look forward to seeing him every weekend, and he spends time with them, reading to the children, before he moves on.
It’s truly remarkable what one person can do if they set their mind to it.