Oh the places I want to go! There’s so many amazing locations around the world, places that have inspired readers and writers alike. As someone who has desires of Wanderlust but the wallet and will of a homebody I thought the next best thing to actually going to these places was to just write about them. So here is my book lover bucket list!
Shakespeare and company was opened in Paris in 1951 by George Whitman.
During the Great Depression Whitman set off on what he called a ‘Hobo Adventure’ with only $40, traveling around North America and Mexico. While he was traveling he was greatly inspired by the generosity of people, saying “Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise.”
Since then 30,000 writers, artists and dreamers have taken up on the hospitality, sleeping among the books and proudly taking the name Tumbleweed.
There’s a romantic feeling to this whole place, a bookshop in the middle of Paris where the need to dream is encouraged and the hobby of reading is treated as god.
In 2001 a 31 year old Shaun Bythell bought The Bookshop, a second hand bookshop in the middle of Wigtown Scotland. At the time Bythell was struggling to find a job he enjoyed and after talking to the previous owner was convinced to buy the shop. Bythell later wrote a book The Diary Of A Bookseller, the main inspiration for this blog.
I’ve given The Bookshop a place on this list but honestly I would love to go to Wigtown in general, known as the book town. Wigtown hostess a yearly book festival as well as boasting a large selection as book shops. I’m lucky enough to be going here in September, spending a week in Scotland.
Ashdown Forest is in East Sussex and it’s safe to say this place breads imagination. This forest is where, in 1925, Christopher Robin first met his best friends. Of course I’m talking about Winnie-the-pooh! In 1925 A.A. Milne bought a country home just north of the forest and so he spent a lot of time there with young Robin and the rest of the family.
Ashdown Forest allows you explore places that inspired these grate stories, Five Hundred Acre Wood that was the inspiration for ‘Hundred Acre Woods’ while Galleon’s Leap was inspired by the bare hilltop of Gill’s Lap.
I’ve grouped this under Hay On Wye as I would love to explore the whole town but I specifically want to visit their open book shop based in the grounds of Hey Castle.
Hay On Wye is a small town in Hereford, with only 1,500 residents but 25 bookshops it’s famous around the world for its bookshops. Every bookshop in this town is worth visiting but the one that spoke to me was the honesty bookshop in the grounds of Hay Castle.
This bookshop has been tradition since 1960s, out in the open of the grounds. All books are second hand and often £1 or below. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of the castle so not only are you getting a good book but you’re helping out!
Now based in London, Persephone Books was established in 1998 (the year after I was born!) in a room above a pub. The idea behind the company was to publish the forgotten stories, a hand full of lost or out of print books every year with most of them being interwar novels by woman. Since opening in 1998 they have moved onto more stories and bigger premises.
All Persephone books are published with Gray covers, the website explaining this by says ‘Our books look beautiful because we believe that, whether they are on an office desk, by the Aga, or hanging in a bag over the handles of a pram, it is important to take pleasure from how they look and feel.’
They mostly work with online orders but do have a shop that you can visit. I wish I had known about this a week ago! I just got back from London.
Check out my last blog post here!