How do you prepare for a vacation? Do you make lists of what to bring, research the area, carefully planning an itinerary to maximize every minute? Or perhaps you tend towards a “wherever the wind blows” approach to your holidays.
If you are like me, finding the right books and making sure that I am prepared on the reading front is often at the top of my list. As you prepare for your vacations and activities, whether it be an afternoon escape to the pool or the trip of a lifetime, might I suggest reading about the place before you visit?
Recently I discovered what an enriching and fun experience reading about the places I planned to visit could be. My husband and I went to Paris for a week, and prior to the trip, I found myself picking up any book that referenced Paris or promised a Parisian adventure. A surprisingly fun amount of fiction resulted from this random narrowing of my reading list, books like, “ A Moveable Feast”, “The Little Paris Bookshop” and “Paris in Love: A Memoir” served to paint a picture of life in Paris. Already dreaming and planning for our vacation, I began to imagine walking the Seine as the characters had, dining on wine and cheese under golden lights, and drinking espresso at sidewalk cafes as I watched the world wander by. My itinerary took on new depth, a food tour was now a must do, as I was ready to taste all that Paris had to offer.
And in the weeks leading up to our trip, I added “A Tale of Two Cities”, “The Paris Wife”, and “The Elegance of the Hedgehog”, my imagination transfixed by the Paris of past and present. My excitement grew the more I read, an image of Paris was forming, one that included Notre Dame and hidden bookstores, oversized scarfs and macaroons.
Once we arrived, the City of Lights seemed eerily familiar, as the place I had been so intently reading about, was now under my feet. And true confession, now that I had arrived, I had no desire to read about it (and no time to!), as the city I had only ever read about was before me.
What other books would you recommend? Any fun vacations this summer? Come into the store and we will happily assist in your planning by crafting the perfect reading list!
– km reader