One of the Bookrageous podcasts brought up the topic of book tourism and how folks looked at it, and what they did – if any. Most of the panel said no, which surprised me.
When I started reading the Bronte sisters in 4th or 5th grade, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to see the moors in person. I wanted to walk in that space and feel the air.When I read Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast in 7th, I knew I would travel to Europe. In fact, I drank my first ever martini in Harry’s Bar in Venice. I visited his home in Paris and spent time in the neighborhoods he was known to lurk. Hemingway was definitely my imperfect guidebook to Europe.
But in Italy and Greece there was so much more. I traveled to the Oracle of Delphi based on the strength of Oedpius’s sad story. I looked down massive lengths of winding roads and imagined how desperate one would have to be to ride a donkey to this place to hear a fortune.
In Rome, we got to kneel at the spot where every king since Charlemagne knelt at the entrance to St. Peters. Outside the city we got to visit villas built by giants and rulers.
I visited the church of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I saw the city from The Devil On Horseback, a historical thriller/romance given to me by my grandmother as well as the one where Hemingway, Fitzgerald and their cohort caroused.
There are any number of places that call to me because I’ve read their story or A story that draws me in. When I get the chance, I go there.
Of course this also works in reverse. If I know I’m going somewhere, I suss out the best fiction set there to add to the trip.
Have you ever gone somewhere because you read about it in a story or novel?