My Vacation: Literary Highlights

Posted September 5, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 13 Comments

I’m not sure if I need to write about my experiences overseas because there wasn’t much literary happening. There was a lot of nerdy fun and sightseeing but that really isn’t that interesting to share, especially on a book blog but I will give you my literary highlights. As most people know I went to the United States of America for about six weeks, while there, I visited Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Yellowstone, New York, Boston, Toronto and Las Vegas. This was a pretty busy vacation and I didn’t get to go to every bookshop I hope to; in fact I only managed to complete three books in those six weeks. Here are some bookish highlights;

Coronado, California

While this little island off the coast of San Diego is best known for the Hotel del Coronado which appeared in the classic film Some Like It Hot, it has one other attraction. Coronado was a vacation spot for L. Frank Baum; in fact the Hotel del Coronado was the inspiration for the Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz. In Coronado I visited the holiday house of L. Frank Baum as well as bought a Wizard of Oz anthology from a nice little indie bookshop called Bay Books.

City Lights Books

If you ever find yourself in San Francisco don’t forget to visit City Lights, it is an amazing store. Not only is it an amazing independent bookstore, it is also a literary landmark. You won’t find the beat generation hanging out there anymore but you will find plenty of books. The store specialises in world literature, the arts, and progressive politics; it even has its own publishing company.

Library Hotel

One of the highlights of the trip was this amazing hotel; I don’t think I could bring myself to stay anywhere else when in New York. Each room is numbered by the dewy decimal system and have a different subject; we stayed in the Health and Beauty room. They also have a reading room where you can spend time reading, drinking or snacking. I think it is awesome that they allow their guest read their books and if you don’t finish it before check out you can mail it back.

Strand Books

Another amazing bookshop was Strand books, yet another indie bookstore but this one offers 18 miles of used and rare books to browse through. It is a real treat to visit a bookstore that is so packed with books and bookshelves; it is the type of bookstore that I love visiting.

Trident and Brattle Books

While in Boston there were two great stores, Trident Books and Brattle Book Shop. Trident books were located around the corner from where we stayed and offered a wonderful place to browse through their books and enjoy breakfast. Seriously, a good indie bookstore with a café that does a great meal and tea is my idea of perfection. Then Brattle Books was the type of used bookstore you can get lost in. But the real novelty was the alley full of books.

Like I said before, I didn’t visit all the stores I wanted to get to. A combination of too many sights to see and weird locations did make it difficult. It was a great holiday and I returned with a large pile of books. Highlights from my bookish mail include Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer and You by Caroline Kepnes. I just have to find the time to read everything.

13 responses to “My Vacation: Literary Highlights

  1. Rob

    I love browsing bookstores in new cities. I’m slowly developing a list of them to reference when I travel somewhere new. Love the idea of that Library Hotel.

  2. thomasatmyporch

    If you haven’t seen the film, Six Degrees of Separation, you should. Not only because it is a fantastic film, but there is a great cameo of The Strand back when it only had 8 miles of books. A very literary movie as well.

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