Most people dream of vacations in exotic locales or famous historical sites. I dream of vacations to awesome bookstores, book towns, and libraries. (Ok, I might take a side trip to some historical sites too. But leave the exotic locales to someone else!) Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (which is exactly this) is the perfect chance to share my bookstore/book town/library travel bucket list with you!
Full confession: I’m copying the first two from my Bookish Places Bucket List post last year because i still haven’t been to these places & 2017 me said what 2018 me wanted to say lol.
KANSAS CITY MISSOURI CENTRAL LIBRARY
I can’t believe I’ve been married for 18 years to a man whose family lives just outside of Kansas City and I have yet to go here. Specifically, I want to see the parking garage (yes, you read that right) and the children’s section. Here’s why:
Those first two pictures are indeed of the parking garage! And that children’s area!!! If I were a kid, I would feel like I was entering a magical world and would never want to leave. Heck. I would probably feel that way even as an adult haha!
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
I feel this one is pretty self-explanatory. The New York Public Library is iconic, and no self-respecting bookworm would visit NYC without at least attempting to get to this bookish mecca. It’s more than just a place to house and check out books though. Observe:
- It has a two-story UNDERGROUND BOOK VAULT. The general public rarely gets to view it but still… do YOU have a two-story underground book vault? If so, we need to be friends.
- Winnie the Pooh. Enough said.
Powell’s City of Books
A bookstore with guided tours and over 1 million books? Yes please! It’s supposedly the world’s largest independent used & new bookstore… and you have to have a MAP to keep up with which books are in which rooms. And it looks like they have a coffee shop, so I’m assuming there is diet coke and breakfast and sandwiches… no need to leave once you get there. I could make a week’s vacation on this bookstore alone 😉
Library of Congress
The gorgeous architecture. The history represented there. ALL. THE. BOOKS. (ok, so i know fiction works are kept offsite but i don’t care because it’s so pretty! I’ve only been to Washington, DC once (way back in college) and unfortunately I didn’t get to go to the Library of Congress then. But one day I will. I’ve promised myself. ♥
Cook & Book
This bookshop in Brussels, Belgium is the size of a supermarket and is divided into 8 book sections plus a music area. Check out some of these sections below (photos from Cook & Book):
As you can see, each section has its own unique feel AND its own lunch/dinner space that matches that section’s atmosphere. What a fun way to show that reading isn’t boring 😀 It reminds me, too, of that CS Lewis quote, “Eating and reading are two pleasures which combine admirably.”
The Norwegian Book Town
A Norwegian town nestled where a fjord meets a glacier, it’s made up of 300 residents, 10 second hand bookstores (located in wooden houses, former ferry waiting rooms, the post office, banks, stables, and even outdoor shelves on the honor system) and over 150,000 used books. I’m pretty sure, with that view, that I really want to just move here. Forward my books (not for sale).
The Open Book / Scotland’s National Book Town
Wigtown, Scotland (aka Scotland’s National Book Town) boasts a unique vacation that appeals to all of us who have ever dreamed of owning a bookstore – the “ first ever bookshop holiday / residency experience”. Through Airbnb you can run The Open Book shop for a week or two and stay in the cozy flat above the store.
Wigtown is also home to this charming store, the largest secondhand bookshop in Scotland.
This ‘adorably cute’ book town in Wales was started by a possible ancestor of mine (ok… i actually have no idea but it’s highly possible that we at least share ancestors – same area of the United Kingdom as my ancestry & same last name). A whole town of books. And a castle. So pretty much all my dreams come true lol. Check out this blog post to see how quaint this book town really is!
The Shop Around the Corner
Let’s pretend for a moment that a) this is a real store and b) Fox Books didn’t kill it. I fell in love with this bookstore even more than I fell in love with the romance between Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox. And that’s saying a lot, given how much I love romance and Tom Hanks. If I could pick a dream bookstore to own, this would be it.
The Village Bookstore
Because who hasn’t wanted to slide on a ladder from one end of the bookshelves to the other. Bookshelves piled high with favorite books and an adorable old store keeper 🙂
I don’t really have to explain this one, right? We all get it.
And while I’m talking about fictional bookstores, I can’t wait to discover this one in May 2019 from Katherine Reay:
What about you? What are some bookstores, book towns and/or libraries on your bucket list to visit?