If you’ve been to Latitude, Festival No 6, Greeman, Laugharne Weekend, Do Not Go Gentle or quite a few other events recently, then there’s a chance that you came into contact with Dylans Mobile Bookstore. Headed by respected author and literary aficionado Jeff Towns (otherwise known as the ‘Dylan Thomas Guy’), publicised by Joe Towns and driven by Huw, the bus was bought to celebrate the centenary of Dylan Thomas’ birth as well as re-inventing how we buy books in Wales.Converted from an old library bus bought from Leeds, it has been making its way around the UK for the past 18 months.
Focused primarily on, you might have guessed, Dylan Thomas, the bus is a lot more than just a book shop on wheels. They hold open mic sessions in and around the bus during festivals, have welcomed a number of famous fans such as Gruff Rhys, John Cooper Clarke, Peter Blake, First Aid Kit, Cate Le Bon, Pete Wylie and almost Robert Plant, and have their own mascot, the Poetry Bunny who will read out loud any chosen poem from the Norton Anthology (as long as its ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’).
The bus features artwork courtesy of Chris Kelly who has drawn, completely to scale, a bookshelf of the favourite books of those involved with the bus. There is also a chalkboard on which a number of well known creatives have written on, including Keith Allen, Molly Parkin, Bez and Peter Blake, who decided on a George Herbert quote; ‘Living well is the best revenge’. Next they’re off to the Luton Literature Festival and Cerys Matthews’ Good Life Experience in North Wales. If you see them around and about, be sure to pop for a browse. You never know what they might have in store for you.