Top Places to Visit for Literary Fans

Imagine following the footsteps of literary icons or writers whose books you spent a lot of sleepless nights devouring. Picture yourself marveling at stunning libraries and bookshops or doing a literary pub crawl. If you love books, reading, writing, and words you will find these UNESCO Cities of Literature a veritable haven for your literary soul.

Dublin, Ireland
Old Library of Trinity College
Why go: Home to famous writers and Nobel Prize for Literature laureates, literary attractions that include several statues of world-renowned writers like James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and more; literary pubs, spectacular bookshops, Writers Museum, Old Library of Trinity College (The Long Room, The Book of Kells, etc.),

Dunedin, New Zealand
Dunedin
Why go: A place steeped in oral histories and traditions, Octagon Writers’ Walk, literary culture

Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh
Why go: Literary tours, literaray pub crawls

Granada, Spain
Granada
Why go: Home to the Alhambra, El Centro Federico García Lorca, Festival Internacional de Poesía de Granada

Heidelberg, Germany
Heidelberg
Why go: Heidelberg University Library, follow the footsteps of Mark Twain and other legends like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Max Weber, Friedrich Hegel, and more; Philosopher’s Way

Iowa, USA
bellevue
Why go: University of Iowa Writers Workshop, bookstore scene, Book Festival, Literary Walk, literary-themed sculptures, a city associated with several Pulitzer Prize-winning authors

Krakow, Poland
krakow
Why go: Home to Polish Nobel Prize winners in literature, stunning libraries, bookshops, literary events

Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne
Why go: Literary festivals, book haunts, State Library and the Wheeler Centre, literary laneways

Norwich, England
Norwich
Why go: Author readings, literary festivals, writers’ hub

Prague, Czech Republic
prague
Why go: A city teeming with libraries, numerous bookstores, home to literary greats like Franz Kafka, poet Rainer Maria Rilke, Milan Kundera;
literary museums

Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik
Why go: Visit the places where the warriors of the Icelandic Sagas come from, Halldor Laxness Museum, Reykjavik International Literary Festival, International Festival of Children’s Literature, Reykjavik Culture Walks, bookstores, Reykjavik City Library

Notes of an Avid Reader: The Joys and Perks of Reading

library

When was the last time you picked up a book and read for pleasure? Many people discover the joy of reading in childhood, but some seem to drop the habit as they grow old. Changing priorities, increasing responsibilities, and lack of time may be some of the reasons why many are no longer reading for pleasure as often as they used to. If you have not read a book it in a long while, now is a good time as any to rediscover the serenity and joy of reading. Here are some good reasons to read and enjoy the many benefits of reading apart from the simple pleasures it brings.

Broadens your knowledge. You could learn many things just by reading. You stumble on novel ideas or get introduced to interesting topics that could encourage you to learn more about them.

Exposes you to different cultures. Reading exposes you to different cultures you may not even be aware of. It enables you to learn more of diverse cultures and develop an understanding of the uniqueness of each one.

Improves concentration. Do you have problems concentrating, especially when doing tedious or time-consuming tasks? Consider reading as an opportunity to improve your concentration skills. Finishing a book or any reading material page by page is an exercise in attention and focus. You develop your ability to focus as you read more.

Lowers stress levels. Research indicates that reading for at least 30 minutes each day is one of the best ways to achieve relaxation. The next time you begin to feel overwhelmed by stress, pick up a book and enjoy reading even for just half an hour.

Makes you feel good. Apart from relaxing you, reading an awe-inspiring or moving story can make you feel good. So the next time you feel sad or frustrated, pick up an inspiring book that can motivate you and uplift your mood.

Promotes lifelong learning – Learning and reading are often interconnected. Cultivating the habit of reading encourages self-driven and continual pursuit of learning. It hones you ability to acknowledge and process new ideas or information.

Stokes your imagination. The joy of reading includes traveling to distant places from the comfort of your cozy nook. It sparks your creativity and imagination as you visualize the various places described in a book. You can even picture yourself in those places and perhaps find more inspirations to travel.

Widens your perspective. Do you often see things in black or white? Do you have trouble finding the middle ground? One of the good reasons to read is that it can widen your perspective. It gives you an opportunity to discover and explore different points of views.

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