Close your eyes and imagine the perfect way to spend your summer holidays! Does it include beaches and a hammock? I bet it does includes books! Here are some of my favourite book places across North America to visit this summer.
1. Vancouver Kidsbooks is Canada’s largest bookstore entirely devoted to children’s books. I love to browse titles from the very latest award-winning books to the classics. Situated in trendy Kitsilano, not far from the University of British Columbia and owned by two local women, this is one of the rare children’s bookstores that has been expanding over the last few years. They have several locations in and around Vancouver, BC, Canada. Check the website for details: http://www.kidsbooks.ca
2. The Sylvia Beach Hotel. Without TV, radio or telephone, this is truly a place for book lovers to spend the night. Situated on a 45 foot bluff above the white sand beaches of Newport, Oregon this rustic hotel is a great place for storm watching or fair weather beach walking. But staying inside to read is almost better. Rooms are divided into ‘classics’, ‘bestsellers’ and ‘novels’. You can spend the night in the Agatha Christie room or the Mark Twain room. The Dr. Seuss room includes Cat-in-the-Hat posters, a goldfish bowl on the table and, of course, volumes of his work. If you are not afraid of spiders, choose the E.B. White room or the ruffles of Jane Austin’s room. A library and gift shop add to the reading pleasure while The Tables of Content offers family style dining in an oceanfront dining room. Their website seems to not work but try this: http://traveloregon.com/places-to-stay/lodging/hotel-motel/sylvia-beach-hotel/
3. From humble storefront beginnings in 1971 on a derelict corner of northwest Portland, Oregon, Powells Books has grown into one of the world’s great bookstores, with seven locations in the Portland metropolitan area. To roam through its endless levels and rooms of floor-to-ceiling books is the ultimate book lovers’ treat.
4. If you have any time to spend in Denver, Colorado be sure to head for one of 3 locations of the famed Tattered Cover Book Store. With lots of nooks and crannies offering the intimacy of a smaller bookshop, and an ample supply of sofas and chairs, readers are sure to feel at home.
6. If you are a fan of Little House on the Prairie, you can visit Independence, Kansas where an exact replica of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s parental cabin is surrounded by many original places and artifacts from her childhood. The rustic one-bedroom cabin has been furnished exactly as described in her books. The Sunnyside School still boasts desks that were originally used in the 1870’s.
7. Stepping into Once Upon A Time, in Decorah, Iowa is like stepping back in time. Owner Marlys Lien, dressed in ruffles and apron as Mother Goose, will read books to visitors in her rocking chair. At other times, she will greet her book browsing audience as a witch or other book character. Lien calls hers
lf a facilitator of books, helping grown-ups to choose the right titles and helping young customers to discover a love of reading.
8. Ken and Mary Lou Harris-Manske, owners of The Book Look in Stevens Point, Wisconsin followed their heart and opened a bookstore in 1992. Ken remodeled an old Cape Cod house and the couple had custom oak book shelves installed by a local craftsman. It has become a Wisconsin wide attraction with possibly the widest selection of children’s books in the state: about 10,000- 12,000 titles by an estimated 5 -6,000 different authors.
2724 Post Road, Stevens Point Wisconsin, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Book-Look/120946704586910
9. Picture a reader’s as well as a writer’s paradise on earth: a village of picturesque, Victorian homes by a lake; home cooked meals that you didn’t have to prepare; lectures by the best writers and editors available; personalized editorial feedback and still time to attend an early evening concert or eat ice cream. All this happens at the annual Highlights Foundation Writer’s Workshop in Chautaugua, New York.
10. Another fairy tale writers’ workshop takes place each summer in Oceanside, Oregon. The Oregon Coast Children’s Book Writers’ Workshop draws participants from around the world and has a faculty of seaside authors of different genres, an agent and publishers. Five days of intense lectures as well as manuscript critiques leave you ready to write a bestseller. You can book a motel, shared home or cabin while staying in this gorgeous location.
11. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is a must for all lovers of children’s books and art. The mission of museum is to inspire, especially in children and their families, an appreciation for and an understanding of the art of the picture book. The 40,000 square foot building is the first full-scale museum in this country devoted to national and international picture book art. This summer special exhibits include A Celebration of African American Illustrators and the art of Leo Leonni.
125 West Bay Road | Amherst, MA 01002 | (413) 658-1100, http://www.picturebookart.org/Home
12. The Kansas City Public Library is worth a visit for any booklover. No explanation needed:
And, last but not least, I want to tell you that you can always come and stay with us! We run BETWEEN THE COVERS, Booklovers’ B & B on Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada. We have the Fiction Room and the Poetry Room, each suite with a private entrance and private bathroom. The rooms are full of books, which you can take with you if you get into one. Our furniture is book shaped and the art is all from books. We are one of the most reasonable priced B & B’s on our scenic island: 110.- for one night or 95.- for more nights, including breakfast. We really are a B & B & B: Bed, breakfast AND books!