Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Parnassus on Wheels

Today I dropped my niece off at the same, but much enlarged, elementary school I attended in Benton, Maine. It brought back memories of the bookmobile that was our library. How dating is that? I remember falling in love with a book called Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Marley. Set in 1917, A grown sister tires of keeping house for her brother and takes off with on a book selling tour with an itinerant bookseller, intending to buy his horse-drawn book wagon. At that time, I thought roaming around with a wagon load of books was a delicious idea. I still do! But now I have the ability to download this same book and myriad others from Project Gutenberg. So much for bookmobiles.

However, the idea still fascinates and shows up in children's books. Margriet Ruurs'
My librarian is a Camel, How Books are Brought to Children Around the World tells of books delivered by camel, elephant, donkey cart and more in thirteen countries.

I now know that Mount Parnassus is the home of the Muses in Greek mythology. I thought of putting Parnassus on my license plate this year, to carry my muse along with me. But I couldn't risk shortening the word. I need to keep my muse happy!

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