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(Booking Through) Vacation Spots

btt button

Do you buy books while on vacation/holiday?
Do you have favorite bookstores that you only get to visit while away on a trip?
What/Where are they?

I always seek out and visit local bookstores when I travel. Being a frequent traveler, I have blogged so much about bookstores overseas, ones that I never miss and frequently visit while I’m in town. The ones in Hong Kong are really my backyards, despite the fact that most of them are located in pretentious and soulless malls. During the most recent trip there in April I had the pleasure to find trade paperbacks of On Chesil Beach and A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian. Distributors of Hong Kong bookstores are usually from the UK so there is a fairly good chance that I’d find a trade paperback for a title that is still available in hardback only in the US. Eslite has a book emporium that is open 24/7 in Taipei. When I was backpacking through Malaysia last December, to my utter delight and surprise, I found two wonderful bookstores in Kuala Lumpur. For a country whose primary language is not English, Kinokuniya at the Twin Towers offers a very expansive selection of titles in English language. This is where I finally found a copy of Somerset Maugham’s travelogue, The Gentleman in the Parlour. Treaded by so many backpackers and tourists, the Thai capital of Bangkok is also a heaven for book lovers. The alleys in main business districts of Silom and Sukumvit are dotted with many small, hole-in-the-wall bookstores full of used titles. They’re like bookcrossing centrals with towers of paperbacks left by other travelers. Not to be missed, of course, is Shakespeare & Co in Paris, which Lewis Buzbee has mentioned in The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop. Closer to home, in the neck of my wood is Stinson Beach Bookstore in Stinson Beach. I always stop by and see what’s on their new book table on the way to Bolinas. It’s your classic neighborhood-style bookshop housed in a wooden shack with a porch. How they fit in all the books in this tiny little shop I have no clue. But they have more than enough of a selection that will keep me from running out of books to read while I’m up along the California coast.

17 Responses

  1. Wow, I envy all your travels but it’s nice to hear from someone kinda like me! 🙂 Thanks for commenting on my blog, I think I’ll bookmark yours 🙂

  2. You’ve been to some exotic places!

  3. How exciting!!!

  4. I would have to buy a book if I traveled out of the country. I regret not being in a reading phase when I went to Germany in 97. I probably could have found some amazing things there. Oh well. There’s always next time. 🙂

  5. I definitely will visit a bookstore especially if I travel abroad. I feel like I’ll be seeing things there that won’t be around in my local store.

    My friend brought home a Harry Potter book for me when he went to India. He said the books were pretty cheap there, as well as in Thailand.

  6. Great answer! I’m definitely not the traveler you are!

  7. Marie:
    I added you to my blogroll as well. 🙂 Travel is about experiencing another culture and its people, and the local bookstore would be a good resource to understand them.

  8. Sally:
    I grew up in Hong Kong. My parents sent me off to the US for school. Over the past 20 years, I must have flown back and forth enough to have accumulated thousands of miles. I pretty much travel with my mileage! 🙂

  9. elitist:
    The travel or the bookstores? 🙂

  10. Literate Housewife:
    Sometimes I can be going from one book to another when I travel, but other time I just don’t feel motivated. I guess the books might be engaging for me as in travel I get distracted a lot. 🙂

  11. Kat:
    Exactly! Book tables always reflect what’s hot in a city. You can always tell how “civil” and cultural a place just looking at what’s on their book tables.

  12. Chris:
    Thanks to mileage I accumulated over the years. 🙂

  13. You listed some great places! I agree about book tables stuff!


    Here is my BTT post

  14. gautami:
    I’ll go over there and check. 🙂

  15. You can write a book on bookstores all over the world. 🙂

  16. […] always seek out and visit local bookstores when I travel. Being a frequent traveler, I have bloggedhttps://mattviews.wordpress.com/2008/07/17/vacation-spots/Stinson Beach, Californias Chamber of CommerceRomantic cozy getaway beside the sea. stinson beach […]

  17. […] Reading Booking Through Vacation Spots Bookstores Overseas Bookstores in Hong Kong Book Buying […]

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