Who Will Buy the Book of Mules?

 Who will want to buy a copy of The Book of Mules: Selecting, Breeding and Caring for Equine Hybrids? It seems to be a book that would have a limited appeal, but after giving it some thought I realize there are many people who will enjoy reading about this animal, designed by human intervention. The mule has been a favorite subject in literature, art and music. Americans have a thing for mules.

Cover Mule, Sadie Mae at Coffee Hound Bookshop

Sadie Mae is owned by Shannon Hoffmand (on right)
Sadie Mae is owned by Shannon Hoffmand (on right)

Owner of Triangle Horse Sport Tack Shop with Sadie Mae

Mule enthusiasts and owners are the first demographic one expects to buy The Book of Mules. Add people thinking about getting a mule to the ones who already own the horse and donkey combination. The Book of Mules gives an overview on all things mulish.


The next natural candidates are people whose mules are pictured in the book and people whom I have interviewed for the book. Some of these folks will also buy copies for their friends and relatives.


Nostalgia is the motivation of some of the older folks who will buy The Book of Mules. Folks who either grew up on a farm and had a mule as a workmate, or people who remember mules bringing goods to market. This is especially true in the south where tobacco and cotton farming needed mules to work the fields and carry the harvest into the cities where the markets were located.


People interested in sustainable living and the environment may be considering replacing the tractor with a work animal. In The Book of Mules they will learn that the mule may be more economical to own than a horse. They often require less food, are hardier and can tolerate the summer heat better than most horses. They run on hay, not gasoline, and the manure can be used to fertilize the garden.


The Book of Mules would certainly have something to offer students being introduced to genetics and hybridization. Depending on the type of horse or donkey used in the mating, people can “design” a mule to fit the job needed – miniature mules as pets, draft type mules for work and lots of designs in between. The mule is the perfect example of how we can produce a hybrid to achieve certain goals and improve on the parents. The mule, like the draft horse, also played an important role in developing America. In fact, because of their strength and stamina they are still used in the military today. So it is logical that The Book of Mules can enjoy a spot in the classroom. Teachers may want to buy it for that reason.


Librarians, both public and school, will find The Book of Mules a good addition to their collection. It is printed in full color and will appeal to a wide range of readers, both young and old for all the reasons stated above.


People who like American history will enjoy reading The Book of Mules. They will learn the mule played an important role in the Westward Movement, the military, and agriculture of our country.


The Book of Mules was released in December 2008 by The Lyons Press. It is just getting started and is enjoying a good sales rank on Amazon already. I love getting feedback, so if you have bought a copy let me know. And, please tell me your mule story; I love hearing the stories.


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Comments 13 comments

Gemma54 profile image

Gemma54 6 years ago from Southport

Very informative and enjoyable reading, Donna. And I'm going to Benson in September!

DonnaCSmith profile image

DonnaCSmith 6 years ago from Central North Carolina Author

For everyone who got a kindle for Christmas - The Book of Mules is available in Kindle.

DonnaCSmith profile image

DonnaCSmith 7 years ago from Central North Carolina Author

You can read about Benson Mule Days, and other mule days across the country in The Book of Mules!

Staci-Barbo7 profile image

Staci-Barbo7 7 years ago from North Carolina


I live in North Carolina, and every year the fourth weekend in September, we celebrate Benson Mule Days (in Benson, NC).  The mule has been honored for over half a century here since 1950.  To quote the Benson Chamber of Commerce:

"Benson, North Carolina celebrates Benson Mule Days® the 4th Saturday of September each year.  The kickoff concert is held on Thursday night in the Benson Singing Grove (located Downtown Benson).  This festival, which draws 60-70,000 people, is filled with family fun and activities for everyone young and old.  The weekend is packed with rodeos, a mule pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, street dances, carnival rides, camping,  parades, bluegrass shows and more.

The parade alone draws about 20,000 people.  This festival is considered one of the largest festivals in North Carolina and the parade has hundreds of horses, mules, buggies, and unusual entries.  Visitors come from as far away as Alaska, Germany and California."

While you will witness the occasional imbibing reveler who cannot sit his horse (or mule) and seems to be in mortal danger of falling under the animal, on balance the event is fun for the entire family, particularly during the day on Saturday.  You can watch the parade, attend the rodeo, enjoy the bluegrass concerts and annual Gospel Sing at the Benson Singing Grove, or show off your moves at the street dance Friday and Saturday nights.   

During this weekend, the town is packed.  So out-of-town visitors should make hotel reservations well in advance, park your vehicle, and walk to the festivities.  So many of the roads are blocked off that it’s nearly impossible to get through town during the celebration.

Come join us for Benson Mule Days - and watch your step!

DonnaCSmith profile image

DonnaCSmith 7 years ago from Central North Carolina Author

Thank you for the comment (I deleted your dup for you) and hope your hubby's dream comes true.

Nelle Hoxie 7 years ago

My husband Leo wants a mule soooo bad. His dream is to go camping with him. But for now he may just have to read about them. Nelle

Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 7 years ago from United States

Enjoyed reading this. Mules and donkeys are often some of the animal kingdoms biggest clowns and sweetest non-human companions if you ask me.

wammytk profile image

wammytk 7 years ago from Iowa

My neighbor has a black mule that is just beautiful. I am a horse person but this one is breathtaking. I get to ride him this summer and I can hardly wait. If would like to see his pictures check out my photobucket album at http://s156.photobucket.com/albums/t10/wammytk/

DonnaCSmith profile image

DonnaCSmith 7 years ago from Central North Carolina Author

Thanks for the article, Rochelle. And Moliz, they are beautiful! I love those long ears and kind eyes. Well, sometimes those eyes get a little mischievious, but still they are pretty critters.

Moliz 7 years ago

Hi Donna. I used to get laughed at because I thought my grandfather's mule was pretty. I didin't care. I still think mules are pretty animals. Rochelle was right. I'll bet your books would really sell in the national parks that use mules. Give it a shot!

Hi Rochelle!! I see you, too! :D

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

We had a mule packer give a talk, at our local museum, about his experiences in Yosemitie-- I didn't get to go, but I did talk to him on the phone so I could write the press relaease.

DonnaCSmith profile image

DonnaCSmith 7 years ago from Central North Carolina Author

Yep, that's in the book, too. The park serivce provides photos for the media to use, so I even have a photo. And, that is a good idea. I'll have to see how to contact the right folks!

I also got a nice interview with a gentleman who works for the forest service who is a mule packer. We talked onthe phone and he was so helpful.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country


You probably know that mules are often used in National Parks, both for transporting supplies and tourists into remote areas. Their trail-worthiness and common sense makes them naturals for this job.

The Grand Canyon has used mules for many years as an attraction for people who would like to take a trip down to the river. They have also been used for many years in Yosemite.

Maybe you could get your book into some of the gift shops around these areas.

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