Monday Musings About Bookish Travel Experiences

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

This weekend I’m out of town for a plant pathology conference in Austin, Texas and I’ve had a couple of fun, bookish travel experiences along the way. Today I’m musing about those and am interested to hear about your best bookish travel experiences as well.

Bookish Conversations

On my first plane, I didn’t talk to my seat mate at all. On the second flight though, the guy next to me was clearly reading (ok, I might have strained to peek a little, haha) Frozen In Time on his kindle.  And I was like “I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help but notice you’re reading some Mitchell Zuckoff”.  I almost didn’t say anything, but was glad I did afterwards because we had a great conversation about narrative non-fiction. We’d both read and liked The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksI recommended The Black Count and he suggested I try reading something by Sarah Vowell, who sounds like an author I’d probably like a lot. He also knew something which led to bookish happening number two…

Visiting Bookish Places

By coincidence, it turns out that the Austin airport where I landed used to be a military base. And not just any military base, but the base where the pilots in Mitchell Zuckoff’s Lost in Shangri-La trained for their death-defying rescue mission! Since my seat mate was from Austin, he had remembered the connection. As a non-tourist destination, it probably wasn’t the most exciting bookish place, but it was still kind of cool. I don’t get too excited about the idea of visiting author’s houses, but I do like to visit the places where stories I’ve read took place – even if only fictionally.


This list just wouldn’t be complete without an ode to the reading one can get done when flying places. Oh airports! How I love you with your endless supply of little cafes and food in all varieties I might want to snack on while I read. How I adore your many bookstores, with your promise that I will never not have enough to read while traveling, even if I decided not to pack that last extra book. How I admire the guilt-free reading time created by your get-here-early-or-else attitude. I love airports 🙂

What are some of your best bookish travel experiences? Do you like visiting author homes and/or places where stories have happened? How do you feel about airport reading?


Filed under Monday Musings

20 responses to “Monday Musings About Bookish Travel Experiences

  1. I haven’t really had any bookish travel experiences, but I liked reading about yours! Usually if my family ever travels it’s in a car, and I don’t like reading in cars. I’ve own flown twice, both times to London, which provides 8 hours of reading time. But, they’re usually overnight flights and I choose to sleep instead, so nope. I lead a sad little bookish life, haha.

  2. And here I thought I was the only person that loved airports!

  3. It’s so much fun to find someone bookish to talk to!

  4. How COOL that you got into that conversation with your seatmate (about a great book, no less). I am often too shy and/or afraid I will be an unwelcome interruption to ask people what they are reading when I’m traveling…but I always take note, at the very least. 🙂
    And YES to loving airports/traveling for the reading pleasures! Airports especially are fantastic.

    • It’s hard not to love a place with so many book stores! I was a little nervous about interrupting his reading, but I’ve read a few blogger rants about people who interrupt you while you’re reading and they almost all make an exception for people who want to talk about books. That gave me the courage to say something and I was really glad I did 🙂

  5. Airports and airplanes are wonderful for reading and I don’t get the motion sickness that comes with car travel. I envy people who can read in cars, I really do…

  6. Lol that sounds like a fun flight.

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  8. I’ve never been to author homes and places like this ;/ Sounds amazing, though!

    As for reading on a plane… I haven’t been on a plane since 2007 and I wasn’t much of a reader then, but I do always read when I’m traveling by car. Reading + music helps me block conversations I don’t want to be a part of ;D

    • I don’t do much visiting bookish places either, although next time I travel abroad I do hope to read some books set in the location I’m visiting before I go.

      I can’t listen to music while I read, but I think I’m pretty good at ignoring people, haha. It sounds like you probably also had some fun times reading in the car. That was always one of my favorite parts of family road trips 🙂

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  10. I just started my bookish travel adventures! I got super excited when you mentioned traveling to Bookish places. I get really excited about traveling to places from books, authors houses, etc. I’m actually getting a bit obsessed about the bookish travel thing, haha. I’m on Harry Potter Travel Part Seven right now. So much fun!

    • Oh, how exciting! I really haven’t done much bookish travelling yet, but I’m going to try to make a point of looking up bookish places in any city I get to travel to 🙂

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