There are books that make us want to travel, and scenes we visit seem straight from pages we’ve read. And sometimes a stop along the way is to connect with an author, character or book. It’s pretty amazing how two of my loves go so nicely together. Plus, have you ever tried traveling without a book? I can’t even image the horror that would be.
Paris, for me has always been attached to literature, from finding myself outside Victor Hugo’s home, or sitting in the same cafe that Hemingway frequented. My need to go to Dublin was strictly related to seeing the Book of Kells (and the Trinity College library). Once I’d done that, I had no idea what else to do while there. Yes, I plan trips around going to bookstores and libraries. Doesn’t everyone?
Here are a few pieces I’ve found recently that made me want to run away to a far away place I’ve been. But first, the library.
I touched on this, but Paris has literary sites everywhere. Lonely Planet put together a literary stroll through the city. It includes a stop at Shakespeare and Company – a personal favorite. I don’t recommend going on a weekend day if you seriously want to wander.
Some interesting picks in this list of 10 Books That Inspire Us to Travel, including a couple of my favorites, Wild and On the Road. If you’ve never read Kerouac, this is the book to read. It also included some I’ll be adding to my to-read list, if for no other reason than to quench my travel thirst for the time being. (I’d not loving the writers take on London, but the book recommendations are pretty great.)
This is just plain fun: an interactive map of American literature’s best road trips. America is all about the road trip – we sent explorers out on one to figure out where exactly the country ended more than two hundred years ago, and we haven’t stopped rummaging back and forth since. The map is: “the result of a painstaking and admittedly quixotic effort to catalog the country as it has been described in the American road-tripping literature.” Check it out, play with it, and see what it says about your favorite authors. Thank you to the wonderfully thoughtful, geeky folks who did this!