I’m excited to introduce our next guest post from Emily at The Road Virus. Emily contacted me in regards to a very cool project that her and a friend are starting and I was instantly interested in the concept. The Road Virus is on a mission to share and exhibit some of the best fringe literature available (which includes some of our favorite post-apocalyptic stories). Thank you Emily for sharing The Road Virus with us and we wish you all the best of luck in your adventures! I encourage all of you to support The Road Virus in any way you can. Follow them on social media and share the links with your friends. Thanks!
It began as a wistful conversation about how awesome it would be to open a bookstore between two best friends. We’ve always been book lovers, one of us was a librarian (Em), the other is an author (Sade). But it was impossible in outrageously expensive San Francisco, and that’s when we started joking about mashing together the concept of a tiny home – like a bus or boat or rv – and bookstore. And so germinated The Road Virus, a mobile bookstore dedicated to fringe literature like horror, apocalyptic lit, sci-fi, queer studies & fiction, and fantasy.
We purchased a bus, retired and revamped into a library’s bookmobile, then set out to pasture before being purchased by us to make her into a big, rolling bookstore. She’s been kitted out with generator already so she runs 110V, both the gennie and motor are diesel and we plan on swapping her over to veggie oil and solar asap. She’s also got book shelves installed that are built like a bomb shelter – truly – we had to remove two small shelves to make space for our beds to fit, and had a KILLER time doing so because the materials were so durable, and construction was impeccable. We can climb the shelves like a ladder and they do not budge.
Naturally the first things put into her were our mobile preps, 72 hour bug out bags, first aide kits, solar and crank powered lights and radios, extra bottles of all fluids the bus needs (like fuel additive, coolant, quick start spray, etc), and about a week’s worth the dry/canned goods. We’re not getting stranded if the bus breaks down, zombies rise up, solar flare or EMP takes out all electronic devices!
Along with our preps we’re bringing our books, naturally. Some of our favorites are The Road, The Stand, Lucifer’s Hammer, How We Live Now, Dies the Fire, Desperation, and I Am Legend. Em’s surprise favorite is The Last Tribe by Brad Manuel, a global pandemic EOTWAWKI novel that was self published by the author. It follows the few survivors of the plague – specifically one family – trying to reunite with one son who was away at boarding school in the Northeast. As someone who grew up in Massachusetts (where a lot of the book is set), the idea of trying to survive a winter as a young teen while things like heating, plumbing, sanitation break down is enough to send a chill down Em’s spine.
There’s lots left to do in the bus, whom we’ve named Jolene Lenore Freebird – including installing plumbing, propane cooktop, and tanks so she can either be shored at a park, or go off-grid without losing the basics of a home. We also need to have her vinyl wrapped so our store is recognizable, and she has some work that needs to be done on her electrical system. We’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to help us achieve these goals – along with help us do some really awesome programming to help The Road Virus give back to the communities she visits, like literacy outreach, movie screenings, and a little free library. Please consider backing us – and bring the plague of literacy to a community near you!
Read more about our vision and goals for The Road Virus at our Kickstarter here:
Also, check out my friend’s earthquake preparedness site Earthquakebag.me . They’ve got some great kits for those of us living in earthquake prone areas.
We’re also documenting our journey, and telling folks where they can find us via our website here:
Love and Pathogens,
The Road Virus Crew