Monday, October 17, 2011

TravelnWrite: "Pack a Book" for the Road

Scottsdale - (c) Jackie Smith, 2011
While the High Plains Drifters were seeking sun in America's Southwest, we also were enjoying Spain. . .thanks to the books we were reading - one a novel and one a narrative - both set in our next destination.

Pre-trip 'research' is half the fun of our journeys.  And our bags, no matter how small, will never leave home without a book or two tucked inside. Yes, the printed-on-paper-kind of book that whisks us into the history of the place or that is set in a place we may be visiting one day. Really it doesn't matter if its about a place we are visiting, might visit, may-never-visit. Books provide us a window on the world.

We are armchair travelers and armchair shoppers as well.  Nothing like Amazon or Book Depository web sites to search for new reads. But often those are a game of chance: sometimes we find something and other times not - just like visiting the local bookstores.  How often have I lamented, "If only there was a place that had all those books in one spot so I could spend my time choosing between them and not searching for them."

And then a few weeks ago while reading a favorite blog of mine, A Traveler's Library I was introduced to a virtual travel book lover's paradise, . Created by London-based Suzi Butcher, this site groups books by country: novels, memoirs, and guidebooks. Countries range from Afghanistan to Vietnam; Bosnia to Brazil, Thailand to Turkey and dozens of others in between.

Packabook also has a great on-line book club, One Country One Book.  Each month a country and a book are featured.  The first week the novel is introduced, the second week the country is the focus, the third week offers travel ideas and the month wraps up with reviews and ideas for the next destination.  This month's book/locale is, "The Guernsey Literary and Sweet Potato Peel Pie Society." It's free and fun - I highly recommend signing up.

Me on "Zoba's' Beach - Joel Smith photo
Packabook has an accompanying blog of the same name.  And I can't tell you how much fun it was to add our reading recommendations after Suzi invited TravelnWrite to be guest bloggers.  Read our guest post to see where we followed Zorba and other novel characters on Crete.

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