Books, Reading, Travel

Books: they make great travel companions. Books are good for inspiration, too, and of course research, and for memories, and for sharing travel ideas. We’ve often shared our book discoveries with you here over the years, and stories about books, bookstores, and libraries, too. As part of an occasional series I am writing pointing you to some of the gems in our more than ten years of archives, here are several of our stories to do with books you may enjoy.

man reading book outdoors

Kristin loves to explore bookstores when she’s on the road. She did not know a great deal about Belgrade, in Serbia, before a voyage with Viking River Cruises landed her there, but among the things she found were “bookstores selling Serbian books, English language books, other foreign language books, rare books, old books, new books, used books. Art books, travel books, guidebooks, cooking books. Books I’d heard of, books I’d never heard of, books I couldn’t read, books I could..” You’ll want read her story about the bookstores of Belgrade. and her reflections on what she learned from them.

Alison found herself in Toronto with a dimly remembered bookstore she decided to seek out. That makes for an engaging story, too.

Getting back to the start of the printed book, Chantae takes you on a visit to see Gutenberg Bibles at the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, Germany. It also, she finds, has material on the work of Asian inventors who were working on moveable type far to the east, and far earlier, than Gutenberg.

But, perhaps, you are looking for ideas on books to read.

Jennifer offers enough to keep you busy a good while in her story which takes you around the world in eight books, where she points you toward books to do with Turkey, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, Nigeria… for starters.

Liz has a selection of books for you in case you’d like to do some armchair (or actual) travel to Cuba.

I tell you about a series of novels featuring a man who started walking across the United States from the Pacific Northwest as a way to help him come to terms with his grief at the unexpected death of his wife.

Sheila points the way to several books which she has found helpful in understanding Civil Rights history in the US. In another story, I add one about Freedom Summer, and music that goes along, too.

Sheila’s memory of a book her parents gave to her when she was small leads to a trip not exactly by railroad, but certainly connected with railroad history.

girl reading book

I found Rancher Farmer Fisherman to be a non fiction book which reads as interestingly as a novel. Its stories of lives lived in the midst of changing environments in the US heartland introduce you to people you will care about and think about, I suspect, long after you’ve put the book down.

Speaking of novels, though, how about four novels set in varied times and places in the history of Ireland, from Galway to Cork, from Down to Kildare?

Perhaps you are wondering about that Nordic practice of hygge — which among other things includes ways of staying warm, cozy, and welcoming through winter. Signe Johansen wrote a book about just this subject, and I have a story about that book. The book includes great photographs and a selection of recipes, too.

There are many other choices in our archives, both of book ideas and book related travel — and I’ve not even touched on cookbooks, or poetry. Those will, however, make appearances later in this series.

book cup biscuits cookies

I will leave you with one more suggestion, though. It has to do with practical, real, and uplifting ways that people are building community across all sorts of what might be differences of opinion, or walls, or borders. It is a book of story, of reflection, and of good questions, each of which you may find helpful, or interesting, on the road and at home. I’ve a story for you about the book singer and songwriter Dar Williams, who travels as part of her work, named What I Found in a Thousand Towns.

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