← Back to ‘The Best Places to Learn As You Travel’
Nerds, introverts, and, intellectuals rejoice! Tomorrow is our time! August 9 marks the annual celebration of National Book Lovers Day. While there is no wrong way to read a book (unless it’s rereading the Twilight series for the fifth time, seriously that’s enough, she is never going to be Team Jacob no matter how many times you read it, please stop) there are ways to add a few extra cool points to delving into the mind of a favorite author. Reading next to a fire on a rainy day may be just about perfect, but try thinking a bit more internationally. We’ve selected a few special locales to flip through the pages of your next gripping novel.
Lion of Lucerne
A peaceful and melancholy stop to begin the list, this park in Lucerne, Switzerland features a stone relief of a dying lion resting above a still pond. Commemorating Swiss Guards who lost their lives during the French Revolution, the statue once spurred Mark Twain to call it “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”
Singapore to New York
At roughly 19 hours, this flight is currently the longest direct one in the world. Crack open a fresh story and, with all the might of the gods, resist the urge to plug into the free entertainment provided by the TV on the back of the seat in front of you.
Trinity College Library
Probably a bucket list item for anyone passionate about the Dewey Decimal System, this Dublin University building is the perfect place to get some good reading done, as it is the Vatican City of libraries. The seemingly endless rows of dark wooden bookshelves containing some of the best texts the English language has ever known also serve as a nice backdrop for your visit to the public library.
Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade
Reading a book sea-side is about as good as it gets. This strip of boardwalk has many benches looking across the bay onto the impressive skyline of Hong Kong.
The Elephant House
This unassuming café in Edinburgh has become a very important place in many peoples’ lives because in the early 90s a certain Joanne Rowling began to scribble some ideas on a napkin about a special bespectacled boy. Now JK Rowling and Harry Potter are worth billions and The Elephant Café, with its views of Edinburgh Castle, is a much-loved tourist attraction.
Jane Austen has amassed perhaps the greatest cult following of impassioned readers since her death in 1817. Hampshire makes the list because it’s the location of Austen’s home, now a museum, where she wrote her masterful, romantic, and, at times, comic interpretations of the British landowning social class. Enjoy the grounds of her home with a classic like Pride and Prejudice. Afterall Austen once said herself, “Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort”.
The Gardens at the Getty
Los Angeles isn’t all about movies; it has a rich literary history as well. The gardens of the J. Paul Getty Museum are quiet and offer those reading a book views of LA from the Santa Monica Bay over to the San Gabriel Mountains. AllTheRooms humbly suggests LA-centric novels Ask the Dust by John Fante and Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice.
On A Boat!
Why? Because everything is better on a boat and reading is no different. The sun, salty air, and slow roll of the passing currents will create a hypnotic experience for consuming many books. If the theoretical reader is a skilled sailor and wants to keep with the nautical theme, might we suggest setting sail towards the waters of Cuba for an Old Man and the Sea recreation or boat to Canada or India (or float aimlessly in the Pacific) to get a new perspective on Life of Pi.
A Café in Paris
An easy answer, there is just something romantic about leisurely sipping a coffee on a wide boulevard in the adoptive city of many of The Lost Generation’s greats. Travelers can channel Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Nobel Prize winner Ernest Hemingway, masterful novelists who wrote about the disillusionment of the generation coming to age in the post-World War I world.
Canada China Cuba England France Hong Kong India Ireland Scotland Singapore Switzerland United Kingdom (UK) United States of America (USA) Vatican City