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Help fund the first mobile bookstore dedicated to horror and other fringe literature. 

I was recently made aware of a pretty incredible project now funding on Indiegogo. Two friends (Em and Sade), passionate about literature and the horror genre, have launched the campaign to raise funds for a mobile bookstore dedicated to horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and other fringe and marginalized genres. The store, called The Road Virus (named after Stephen King’s short story “The Road Virus Heads North”) will also have a great children’s section to support the future generation of genre lovers.

The duo, an author and a librarian, purchased a former bookmobile replete with electricity, bookshelves, and a wheelchair ramp (which happens to be hidden behind a hinged bookcase, making them both ADA-accessible and a bit spooky!). They dubbed their new bus the Jolene Lenore, after Dolly Parton’s song and Poe’s poem, respectively.

The two plan to live in the bus full-time, spreading the germ of literature and underrepresented authors and genres across the US (and, eventually, beyond). The Indiegogo campaign was launched to help them raise the additional funds needed to retrofit the bus, pad out their initial collection, and start a literacy outreach program.

“In specializing in fringe literature, The Road Virus will serve as a venue proving to be an outlier’s dream. No longer will someone with a different worldview need to walk into a bookstore and immediately beeline for the back shelf consisting of one or two rows of books. Instead, amongst our shelves, you will find yourself literally surrounded by words and stories trained on releasing the darker parts of life.”

When talking about their motivation for starting this new mobile bookstore dedicated to less celebrated literature, the owners explain that they were driven by two primary goals. First, they had a desire to ensure everyone (especially the younger generation) still has access to the rich history and culture behind the personal touch of bookselling that is being stripped down by the internet.

Second, they desire more recognition and appreciation for a genre that still remains an underappreciated and trivialized one, especially in literary circles.

“Horror as a genre is more of a subjective feeling rather than an objective and defined set of characteristics and the periodic successes that we see as a community owe a higher debt of gratitude to the visual rather than the written word.”

If the campaign is successful, Em and Sade hope to expand their community outreach efforts to include private tutoring for those who need to improve their reading skills, door to door delivery, reading events for authors, free horror movie nights, and much more. As a former English major, writer, and passionate horror fan, it means the world to me to see this campaign succeed.

Whether you’re passionate about literature or just care about bringing more respect and recognition to the genre, we urge you to check out this inspiring campaign. If you’re able, please consider contributing what you can before it’s too late. Even if you can’t contribute financially, please consider sharing this campaign with others who still understand the beauty in physical books and bookstores.

Indiegogo Campaign:
Social Media: @roadvirusbus

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