>The final topic for The Friendly Book Nook’s Summer Reading Extravaganza is “Oh The Places You’ll Go – with a book!
Otherwise known as books that transport you to a new place or a different place.
Travel writing is GREAT for that and probably the best of all that I have read is Down Under by Bill Bryson. It’s a book I read many years ago (during my second year at uni) and loved. And it’s a book thats sat on my shelf for a long time. I keep thinking I must reread it and in fact intended to whilst Ben and Geri were in Australia on their trip last year but I never got there. Bryson has a really funny style that just captures life as it is and the way he really experienced things (although I have since heard some stuff about him tweaking some details of who he travels with etc in the books).
I’ve been to Australia – I spent most of December 1998 there visiting various different parts of the country – and that was what called out to me and made me want to read the book. And I do think that a huge part of what made me enjoy the book was the fact that I’d been there and loved the place. I’d been to some of the areas he wrote about and not to others. In one instance he even mentioned in passing a specific hotel I had stayed in (at Ayers Rock) and that made me really excited.
Reading that didn’t take me back there; it couldn’t. But it made me remember and it made me smile and it made me plan for where I would go if I went back (when I go back). Of course I’ve forgotten all of those long ago pipedreams and half made plans and would have to read it again before travelling there. But that would be half the fun.
I’ve also read travel books for places I haven’t been – and although they don’t bring back the personal memories and the “personal touch” Down Under did they let me learn about and dream of another new place – somewhere other than the dreary sameness of home.
Slightly off topic but also not, something else I love to do with a book is actually travel. I don’t drive because of my CP so frequently travel by train. And there is nothing more wonderful than knowing you have an hour and a half or however long the train journey will be to read with no interruptions and no thoughts of other things you “could” or even “should” be doing. Until you get to your destination you can’t do anything but sit there so you may as well take a book and travel somewhere else that way – somewhere much more exciting and interesting!