Book Bus Brings Joy

Melanie Moore, a former teacher in Cincinnati, has made it her mission to provide good reads on the go.

Book Culture

Melanie Moore, a former teacher in Cincinnati, has made it her mission to provide good reads on the go.

Initially, after retiring in 2017, Moore considered opening her very own brick and mortar bookstore. She had prepared to sign a lease for a location during 2018, but the high costs caused Moore to second-guess the decision. Fortunately, Moore’s dream was revived upon reading Christopher Morley’s Parnassus on Wheels and her husband’s acquirement of a 1962 VW Transporter that he’d obtained during a business trip in Los Angeles. She immediately knew that the VW would be perfect for her venture.

via Cincinnati refined

I saw the truck and everything just flowed from there. The vision became clear.

Thus, the Book Bus was created. Moore would often travel with her husband on his business trips, seeking out books that weren’t commonly found in the United States to add to the collection. Eighty percent of the books available on the Book Bus have been personally read and enjoyed by Moore herself. Her only requirement is that the books are freshly printed and interest her customers – women ages twenty-five and older.

The Book Bus would often appear at pop-ups and coffee shops around Cincinnati, but Moore has recently decided to move online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through selling on Bookshop and hosting Zoom book club meetings, Moore is keeping the Book Bus experience alive.


Particularly, Moore is interested in ensuring children’s literacy.

I have a passion for getting books into the hands of kids who need them most. I take all my profits and buy new children’s books for schools and organizations to help build their libraries. Every child should be given the opportunity to experience the joy of reading for themselves.

In 2019, Moore donated books worth a total of $3,000 to schools, women’s shelters, and local recreation centers. So far this year, she has donated $8,500 worth. What a way to make a difference!


Featured image via Sami Stewart