• Regional Reading

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in WBN News & Events     Comments 3 comments

    The WriteByNight brain trust recently took a trip to the Grand Canyon area of (crazy) Arizona, and I made sure to pack plenty of Ed Abbey for the trip. (For those unfamiliar with Abbey, champion of the American Southwest, read Desert Solitaire [nonfic] and two novels, The Fool’s Progress and The Monkey Wrench Gang.)

    It got me to thinking of other times I’ve based my vacation reading on my destination: James Hynes’s Next during a visit to Austin before we lived here, Jimmy Buffett’s Where is Joe Merchant? on a trip to the Caribbean, Hawthorne’s Twice-Told Tales on a day trip to Salem.

    We asked on Twitter and our Facebook page for other examples, and we want to hear some from you guys, too. Here are a few of the answers we’ve heard so far:

    Steve: “I really want to get to Dublin someday for Yeats and Joyce and Guinness.”

    Billy: ” I’m reading Dante’s Inferno on my deathbed.”

    Daniel: “For Dublin, be sure to also read Patrick Kavanagh and the short stories of Ray Bradbury. Bradbury spent some time in Ireland and yes… he did not exclusively write sci-fi. For me, I packed Exile’s Return and A Moveable Feast as 2 of the 4 tangible copies of books I brought to Korea.”

    Melissa: “I read Death Comes to the Archbishop on a visit to Santa Fe and Life on the Mississippi in New Orleans.”

    Mike: “One year I took The Passage and a John Muir collection to Colorado. Technically wrong mountains. But it worked.”


    How about you guys? Can you share with us a time you packed vacation books based on destination?


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    Laura Roberts

    Hmm. It’s been a long-ass time since I HAD a vacation, so I’m using the Wayback Machine here… nope, the closest I can come is when I took a high school trip to California, I came home with a book that our bed and breakfast was selling on a “pay what you can” system. Instead of the Bible in each room, they had copies of a book about a woman who called herself Peace Pilgrim. As a budding hippie, this totally spoke to me, so I gave them a couple bucks for it. My question is, why don’t ALL hotels… Read more »

    David Duhr

    That’ll never happen in this country. BUT! Salman Rushdie did this: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/19/us-rushdie-books-hotel-idUSTRE73I6BQ20110419

    And others have done similar, equally encouraging things.

    Jose Skinner

    I took The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles out to the New Mexico desert and read the whole thing in the shade of a boulder and became very frightened.

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