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The Literary World

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Literature - it's everywhere! When I travel, I like to read up on the local poets and writers before I go. I like to see where they lived and what influenced them. I like to find the houses and museums that honor these men and women of words. I also love finding bookstores and flea markets where I might be able to find old books and even snap photos of old typewriters.
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Groenplaats 21, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Just outside the Antwerp cathedral is a bench and plaque that commemorate the story A Dog of Flanders. The story, with some of it set in Antwerp, was not well known in Belgium (having been written by an Englishwoman). For some reason the Japanese...
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555 Abrego St, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
Although from nearby Salinas, John Steinbeck also spent time in Monterey and the locals take advantage of that fact and celebrate the Nobel Prize winning author. His book Cannery Row was set in Monterey and the labpratory of the main character, Ed...
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120 N Main St, Hannibal, MO 63401, USA
They say great wine in a result of it's terroir, so might the same be true of the boyhood town of a great writer? Being a fan of Mark Twain, I ventured to Hannibal, MO for the Fourth of July to see if my theory would hold up. Does a great town a...
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40 Gay St, Bath BA1 2NT, UK
Jane Austen fans are sure to delight over the great exhibits and tea shop at the Jane Austen Centre, but more adventurous fans should take the walking tour of Bath held by the Centre on weekends. A jovial guide will take you through the streets of...
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68 Merrion Square S, Dublin 2, Ireland
This statue in Merrion Square Park is worth a look as it is unique because it is in color and not just a lump of metal standing in a square. In my travels to seek out literary haunts and memorials, I was happiest when I finally made it to Dublin...
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48 Cockburn St, Edinburgh EH1 1PB, UK
Sure, if you have somebody famous, you may as well milk the fact and name everything after that person to pull the punters in! (A British-ism!) The Rabbie Burns Restaurant is actually on the Royal Mile and close to the Writers Museum. Burns is...
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Lawnmarket, Lady Stair's Close, Edinburgh EH1 2PA, UK
Just off the Royal Mile after you go under an archway is the Writers Museum in Scotland's capital city. The museum honors three of the nation's finest writers - Robbie Burns, Robert L. Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott. It is well worth a visit,...
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1 Main St, Salinas, CA 93901, USA
An offbeat destination for classic American literature buffs. A quaint Main Street in Salinas is a much better intellectual destination than the run down Cannery Row in Monterey. A fabulous museum and bookstore with many short films about the...
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Chisinau, Moldova
“Do you have mold cell?” I’d just gotten off the plane when an agitated woman closed in. It was my first visit to my father’s ancestral homeland and this was not how I'd imagined it would start. But then how could I have known that Moldova’s...
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Hviezdoslavovo námestie 188/6, 811 02 Bratislava, Slovakia
Located in a square named after him, he was a Slovak poet, dramatist, translator and for a short time member of the Czechoslovak parliament. The square is a beautiful walk as you make your way to the National Theater.
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Montclair, NJ 07042, USA
Montclair is known for many things, among them its many amazing writers. That's what happens when you become the suburb of choice for so many former Manhattan and Brooklyn-nites. Tucked on a side street, the Little Free Library is just one in a...
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Concord, MA, USA
Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy - a carer, a writer, a musician, an artist. Many girls grew up with these 'Little Women' in their minds. So did I. The creator of these literary characters rests in peace at the Sleepy Hollow in Concord. It was humbling to have...
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Located in Copenhagen, where Hans Christian Andersen called home for many years, sits a tribute to one of his greatest literary works: The Little Mermaid. Commissioned in 1909, the Little Mermaid resides as a solitary figure on a single rock in...
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84 Marylebone High St, Marylebone, London W1U 4QW, UK
Daunt Books really is special. Even if you are not a big reader, it is well worth a visit because the space is so beautiful and filled with exceptionally well-chosen books. Daunt is the ultimate antidote to the Amazon generation and connects you...
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6 E Liberty St, Savannah, GA 31401, USA
Nothing makes me happier than stumbling upon a really great bookstore, and this one in Savannah takes the cake! While strolling down East Liberty Street in gorgeous Savannah—my favorite of all the beautiful Southern cities—my husband...
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37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France
Located at 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, a stone’s throw from the Seine and draped in the shadow of Notre Dame, is what should be proclaimed one of France’s national treasures: the Shakespeare and Company bookstore. This is...
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540 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Crazy for Kerouac? Mad for Ginsberg? Head to the Beat Museum in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, where many of the writers, artists, and thinkers you’ll be learning about spent their time drinking and carousing in the 1950s...
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6 Place de Paris, 27200 Vernon, France
After touring the village of Giverny, I headed down the road and across the river to the town of Vernon. Nice place. The nicest part was finding an antique-cum-book store. I cannot get enough of books! I actually collect Hemingway and Kerouac...
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I first heard about Shakespeare & Company Bookstore while studying expat writers, mainly the Americans, in Paris. Sylvia Beach owned it and Ernest Hemingway used to borrow books from her. The current S&C in Paris was passed on from George Whitman...
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18 Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin 1, D01 T3V8, Ireland
Sure, you fall in love with Paris through the literature about the city—Hemingway immortalized Paris, F. Scott Fitzgerald spent time there and so did James Joyce. However you can do the same with Ireland. JJ is still beloved in his native...
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Plaza Sta. Ana, 10, 28012 Madrid, Spain
One thing that I love about Europe is how they honor their artists with public statues. This is one dedicated to the Spanish poet and located in the heart of the city in Plaza Santa Ana.
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116 Rue de l'Hôpital Militaire, 59000 Lille, France
In the middle of the chamber of commerce building in Lille is a book market that is held every day. The books are great and cheap. Most are in French but you can find some in English as well. Lots of vinyl for sale too!
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Stuttgart-Mitte, Stuttgart, Germany
While in Stuttgart I came across a flea market and was in heaven, seeing so many stalls selling books. Although I don't read German, I do collect Ernest Hemingway books in all different languages and was lucky to find a German first edition of The...
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Douai, France
A great place to pick up some great books - Lille, France!
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Paseo de Recoletos, 20-22, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Outside the national library you will see several statues of literary men of Spain. One of the best and most famous is Cervantes, who penned Don Quoxite after spending a spell as a prisoner by the Ottomans. There is also a statue in another part...
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Toledo, Spain
Spain definitely loves to cach in on their favorite author, Cervantes. If you don't see a statue of him in a Spanish town, then you'll probably see one of his most famous character, Don Quoxite. Personally, I love the fact that they celebrate...
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Calle de Cervantes, 10, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Obviously most of the books that you find in Spain are written in the Spanish language (a no brainer, I know) but you can find lots of English ones too. Libros is a chain bookstore, much like Barnes & Noble back in the USA, and they always have a...
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Calle Badajoz, 31, 28931 Móstoles, Madrid, Spain
One of the biggest flea markets that I have ever been to is located in Madrid, Spain. El Rastro is an old neighborhood that is teeming with activity, but the place really comes alive on Sunday mornings for the weekly flea market. You can buy just...
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R. das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto, Portugal
A blend of neo-Gothic and art nouveau, the enchanting Livraria Lello bookshop dates to 1906 and is rumored to have inspired J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts in Harry Potter
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Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6BB, UK
Stratford Upon Avon may have way too many cheesy tourist shops, but touring the 5 houses of Shakespeare is worth the trip.
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1302 N 3rd St, Harrisburg, PA 17102, USA
Midtown Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg, PA is like entering a book cathedral. Soaring ceilings with a delightful mural depicting activities along the river through the decades. There’s coffee, of course, and aisles and aisles of finds. There’s...
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Alsancak Mahallesi, Kıbrıs Şehitleri Cad./1440. Sok. No:9 D:2, 35220 Konak/İzmir, Turkey
Kenar Kitabevi is a quirky bookstore in the Turkish city of Izmir and is excellent if you are short of reading material. There is a large selection of use paperback books in English at reasonable prices. The average book was 8 Lira, which is...
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Alsancak Mahallesi, Kıbrıs Şehitleri Cad./1440. Sok. No:9 D:2, 35220 Konak/İzmir, Turkey
Wandering around Izmir, I came across a small side street in the pedestrian shopping area that was the home of a few book stores. The first one that I spotted was Kenar Kitabevi and as I went inside, up a few steps, I came across hundreds of books...
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Watamu, Kenya
Who knew this was here? In between the bustling towns of Mombassa and Malindi lies a quiet coastal town with beautiful beaches and inviting locals. If you venture through the town center you will arrive at the somewhat secluded Hemingway's Resort....
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69 Place Drouet d'Erlon, 51100 Reims, France
Being a big Ernest "Papa" Hemingway fan, I was thrilled when I saw this restaurant cum cafe cum cigar-puffing joint in downtown Reims in the heart of the Champagne region. I didn't eat here but returned after seeing the light show on the cathedral...
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Tempt fate at the Monkey Paw’s Book-O-Matic machine, where for the price of a toonie you’ll be delivered an archaic tome in the vein of Elementary Arabic, Vol. 3. I’ll let you know how my studying gets on. The Monkey’s Paw...
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48603 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
The Henry Miller Memorial Library is a bookshop–cultural center dedicated to the bohemian author who once called Big Sur home. It has become a hot spot for concerts by the likes of Gillian Welch and Arcade Fire and a Thursday night summer...
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2210 Middle St, Sullivan's Island, SC 29482, USA
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Who knew that Edgar Allan Poe spent time in the army base on Sullivan's Island outside of Charleston? The folks behind Poe's Tavern have capitalized on this fact, creating one of the island's most beloved local haunts. Located a few blocks from...
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295 Main St, Edwards, CO 81632, USA
Independently owned bookstores are getting rarer these days, but The Bookworm is alive and well in Edwards. The staff can help you find good local reads. And there’s a cafe with crepes.
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Gloucester Pl, Swansea SA1 1TY, UK
Dylan Thomas, who is known as a doomed, drunkard poet (which he liked) is revered in his home city of Swansea, so much so that they erected a statue of the poet who died too young at the age of 39.
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6 Somerset Pl, Swansea SA1 1RR, UK
In the city of his birth you can find out everything you ever wanted to know about the Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas. The place has not only displays but also movies, audio recordings with the bard's voice and also another famous Welshman, Richard...
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R. Rodrigues de Faria 103, 1300-501 Lisboa, Portugal
Why paint your walls if you could cover them with books instead? This is my new home decor philosophy and I blame it on Ler Devegar. This perfect bookstore boasts two stories of books housed in an old printing plant, the machine parts surrounded...
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1623 Washington Plaza N, Reston, VA 20190, USA
Sometimes a shop can become a slice of history, and Reston's Used Book Shop (RUBS) is no exception. Founded in 1978, the bookstore has a strong local following, often hosting events, author signings, and readings. RUBS supports the community so...