This Quirky Bookmobile is a MUST for Fans of SciFi and Fantasy
Put That Kindle Down and Go Mobile, Already! Fifth Dimension Books is roaming the streets of Austin, bringing you all of the sci-fi, fantasy and hard-to-find treasures you can handle
An entire polka band has just piled into a mobile fantasy bookstore. Go ahead and show that sentence to anyone not from Austin.
For Sukyi McMahon, driving her and husband Patrick’s 1980’s-era bookmobile to some of Austin best events - like the aforementioned Polkapocalypse, the Out of Bounds Comedy Tour and Other Worlds SciFi Festival, and to Austin mainstays like Independence Brewery and in.gredients - inspire some of her favorite memories.
In the midst of their set at the Ney Museum’s Polkapocalypse! event, the ba-roomping band got an idea. “I watched them as they slowly made their way to the bookmobile and thought, They are going to come in here!” Sukyi recalls. “Moments later, they all climbed in. First the singer with
his accordion, then the snare drummer, and then the guitarist. And then the tubist and then the bass drummer lumbered in. It was hilarious and surreal to have a live polka band giving me a very exclusive show in my bookmobile.”
The concept of a bookmobile finding its way to a polka festival may cause a few quirked brows, but for Fifth Dimension, it’s daily routine. Sukyi says, “People were shocked, but they were extremely receptive. They thought it was so weird, yet so right.”
Showing up in unexpected places kind of makes sense for a bookstore specializing in fringe genres. Since purchasing the personal library (over 100k books, by the way) of the esteemed Dr.
John N. Marx and locating an old library bookmobile (plus filing a slew of applications for city permits and speaking before committees) Sukyi and Patrick have brought their dream to life - and along the way, have amassed a devoted following. From the weird to the rare, Sukyi and Patrick’s clientele may collect books published the year they were born, ones that feature a certain ‘freak culture’ artist’s work on the cover, or even those published by a certain, obscure publishing house.
“The bookmobile is place where people freely speak Bookish - yes, that’s a language!” explains Sukyi. “Somecome with specific requests, while others spend an hour or more looking through the shelves. We love to engage with our customers and have profoundly geeky discussions about our books.”
Sukyi and Patrick are looking forward to showing up unexpectedly in even more locations this year, and we can’t wait to be weirded out. •
Follow Fifth Dimension Books @5DBooks on Twitter, and check out 5DBooks.com for a full calendar of events, readings, and more.