When given a Top Ten Freebie my brain vacillates wildly between books and food and books and travel. Since I have written about books and food before a few times I thought I would try to think about some of the most impressive bookish destinations that I have personally visited.
I am also wondering what some of your favorites are or what places are on your wishlist? There is still so much of the world to be seen.
Reading room of the British Museum
London, Great Britain
This might not be the coziest reading room in the world. It is probably the most impressive.
The Long Room of the Old Library of Trinity College
After you have been shuffled through to see the Book of Kells your reward is a walk through the Long Room. If someone could just figure out a way to get a replica in my apartment I would be grateful.
New York City Public Library
New York City, USA
It may be the most beautiful library building in the world.
New York City, USA
18 miles of books. Sold. The only thing that kept me from losing my mind and buying eighteen pounds of books was the daunting thought of four international flight before getting home.
Let the traveller beware. I mean, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to read any of the books (because Chinese) but that wasn’t the disappointing part. The space looks AMAZING, unfortunately the books aren’t real. That’s right, almost all of them are some sort of textured wallpaper. It is a good thing that I only wasted a Saturday visiting because I would have had to do some major pouting if I wasn’t already in China. This is the very definition of style over substance.
Shakespeare & Company
I don’t just love this store because I had been engaged for about three minutes the last time I was there. There is nothing more perfect that a fall afternoon in Paris looking though books and then perhaps eating pastry. Heaven.
Frankfurt book convention
Less fun than anticipated it is still a rush to be surrounded by that many books.
The Elephant House
While the book picking are slim here it is a bookish destination simply due to the fact that JK Rowling wrote a good portion of the first Harry Potter book here. If you walk a block or so there is a cemetery that overlooks the grounds of a private school that was an inspiration for Hogwarts. I couldn’t find it but I assume that there is also a place to file a complaint about not getting my Hogwarts letter.
The University of al-Qarawiyyin
The oldest university in the world founded by a Muslim woman. Take that Western biases. You can’t really go in but if you manage to find it in the maze of Fez’s Medina you can casually walk by the door a dozen or so times to absorb the smartness. Not that I did that. I am much too cool.
Plaza de Armas
Do you need a Spanish copy of everything that Che Geverra ever wrote? Perhaps many many copies of The Old Man and the Sea or some other flavor of Ernest Hemingway? The Plaza de Armes in the old town of Havana is rife with pop up book stalls that offer up a more sophisticated beach read.