Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Literary Souvenirs

I love to travel. As much as I'll whine about trains and planes and car rides it probably doesn't seem that way. This year in particular I found that I needed to be constantly on the mood. Well, i guess constantly isn't a great word. I needed to be on the move as often as my budget and my job would allow. I discovered that if I was home for more than four months at a time I got antsy.
This year I've been to Chicago, Toronto, DC, Baltimore, and Milwaukee.

Now I'm sure you're wondering how this has anything to do with this blog.

To keep my visits cheaper I gave myself one rule.

The only souvenirs I can buy are books.
Reminders of my trips to Toronto, DC, and Milwaukee. *

More specifically: Books by authors from the place I'm visiting.

Honestly I wish I'd come up with this sooner. Last year I was in Texas and all I have is a plastic cup to commemorate the trip. Even my trip to Toronto left me browsing the Canadian Literature section rather than going in with a plan. By the time I got to DC I was more prepared. I now have a Michael Chabon novel that I'd never heard of. I researched Wisconsin authors for days trying to find someone I'd heard of and didn't already own. Now I have a used copy of plays by Thornton Wilder.

What makes this better is I am now forced to find bookshops on my travels. When I was in Milwaukee my best friend and I found ourselves in this amazing used bookstore that was packed from ceiling to flour. It had rooms and rooms. There were cats that followed us everywhere. It is a great memory to add to a great trip.

What do you all do for souvenirs? Do you go the keychains and commemorative mugs route or do you look for something specific from each location?

*Baltimore was part of the same vacation as DC and I was frantic to come up with an author from Maryland that wasn't Poe. In the end I didn't find a list before I left the city but I did get to browse a really stellar bookshop.  Also, for those of you who don't know I used to live in Chicago so my visits there are no longer about tourism, instead I'm visiting with my best friend. However I do own a couple Hemingway books from my time spent in Illionis. Also a Joe Meno book I did buy on a trip there.

1 comment:

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Yay! Someone else who does this! I've been doing this for years and I love having special books from each trip. I bought Kundera in Prague, Capote in Alabama and so many others. If you ever have trouble finding an author from a state you're visiting my list below might help you. I found authors who live in or write about every single state...