Stamps tell us stories. Stamps can capture a life, an achievement, a moment.
So this stamp, depicting the bookmobile, carries an inner story which is even more special.
Die-cut in the form of a bus, it is presented as a book, where you can turn the pages to read the titles of wonderful literary works like Blindness by José Saramago, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, the hilarious cartoon adventures of Mortadelo y Filemón by Francisco Ibáñez, and The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
On these unique pages, we can see images of readers of all ages enjoying the pleasure of reading.
The idea of the bookmobile began a long time ago, when access to books was almost impossible and buses with boxes of books brought them to hard-to-reach places, or cheered up soldiers on the front.
In 1953 the bookmobile service as we know it today began in Madrid, and in 1970 it began operating throughout Spain.
“The services of the public library are provided on the basis of equality of access for all, regardless of age, race, sex, religion, nationality, language or social status.” With these principles the UNESCO Public Library Manifesto perfectly describes the ultimate goal of the service shown in this stamp.
The 77 bookmobiles which now roam Spain visit 2006 municipalities, 81% of which have fewer than 1000 inhabitants, and 68% have fewer than 400.
Most of these villages do not have a pharmacy, a doctor’s office or even shops or supermarkets.
This service gives them access to the culture and entertainment a library can offer, with a vehicle which a few days a week brings its cargo of dreams, adventures and mysteries to many hidden corners of Spain.