How To Plan a Literary Family Trip and 3 Reading Cities to Visit

One of the great things about literature is that it can take you places. And not just to new worlds or different times, but on trips to real-life destinations that you might never have considered otherwise. 

 Photo of a book store and a lady looking for a book

If you and your family are looking for a new adventure, why not try planning a literary family trip? 

There are all sorts of ways to approach this. You could choose a destination that’s mentioned in your favorite book, or visit locations associated with an author you love. 

Or you could simply make a list of all the places you’ve always wanted to go, and then see if any famous writers have been there too.

 

Foster Reading as a Family Activity

When it comes to family travel, reading can be a great activity to foster together. Here are some tips on how to make the most of family literary travel:

1 - Make a reading list: Before you hit the road, make a list of books that everyone in the family would like to read. This way, you can be sure to pack enough books for everyone and avoid any arguments over what to read next.

2 - Take turns reading aloud: While it’s important that everyone gets a chance to read, taking turns reading aloud can be a great way to bond as a family. This also allows everyone to follow along even if they’re not reading the same book.

3 - Discuss what you’re reading: After everyone has had a chance to read, take some time to discuss what you thought of the book. This can be a great way to get different perspectives and learn more about the book.

4 - Visit local libraries: If you’re traveling to a new place, be sure to visit the local library. This can be a great way to find new books to read as well as learn more about the history and culture of your destination.

5 - Have fun with it: Ultimately, the most important thing is to have fun with family literary travel. If everyone is enjoying themselves, then you’re sure to create lasting memories and a love of reading.

By planning ahead and bringing along books that everyone in the family will enjoy, you can make sure that everyone has a good time while also promoting literacy. 

 

And We’ve Seen Some Literary Cities!

We’ve seen some literary cities, like Dublin and Edinburgh. We’ve also seen some that are not so well known for their literature, like Birmingham and Manchester. But what about the rest of the world? 


Here are 3 more cities that have inspired some of the world’s greatest writers.

 

Asheville

Asheville, North Carolina, has been dubbed "America's Happiest City," and it's easy to see why. The city is brimming with things to do, both indoors and out. 


 

And for literature lovers, there is no better place to visit than Asheville.

The city is home to the world-famous Biltmore Estate, which was once the home of famed author F. Scott Fitzgerald. Today, the estate is open to the public and features a variety of literary-themed events throughout the year.

Asheville is also home to the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, which commemorates the life and work of one of America's most beloved authors. 

The memorial is located in the historic district of downtown Asheville and features a variety of exhibits that tell the story of Wolfe's life and work.

The city is home to numerous independent bookstores, as well as the world-renowned Asheville School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. 

Whether you're looking for your next favorite novel or just want to browse the shelves for hours, there's a bookstore in Asheville for you. 

There are plenty of other activities in Asheville for kids - you’ll never want to leave!

And here are some real treats for book lovers: 

 

Battery Park Book Exchange:

 

This charming bookstore is located in an historic Victorian building in downtown Asheville. The store specializes in used and rare books, and also features a cafe with a patio overlooking the city.

 

Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe:

 

Malaprop's has been a staple of the Asheville literary scene for over 30 years. The store stocks new and used books, as well as a large selection of local and regional titles. The cafe serves coffee, tea, and light fare.

 

Firestorm Books & Coffee:

 

Firestorm is an anarchist-themed bookstore and cafe that has been a gathering place for the Asheville radical community since 2006. The store stocks a wide variety of books on politics, history, theory, and more. The cafe serves fair trade coffee and organic, vegan, and gluten-free options.

 

Los Angeles 

Hollywood sign in the distance, with palm trees

 

If you're looking for a literary family trip, Los Angeles should be your next stop! 

The City of Angels is home to some of the best bookstores in the country, as well as plenty of other cultural attractions. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

 

Last Bookstore:


Visit the Last Bookstore, LA's premiere independent bookstore. Browse the stacks, attend one of their many events, and check out the on-site art gallery.

 

South Pasadena Public Library:


Explore the South Pasadena Public Library, a beautiful Spanish Revival building that's been serving the community since 1908. While you're there, be sure to check out the historic children's room.

 

Grand Central Market:


Head to Grand Central Market, a downtown LA institution since 1917. In addition to the market's many food stalls, you'll find Book Show LA, a used bookstore with an eclectic selection.


And of course, no trip to LA would be complete without a stop at Hollywood Boulevard to see the Walk of Fame and the TCL Chinese Theater. 


Why not combine your love of books and movies with a visit to one of these iconic destinations?


Minneapolis

 

 There are plenty of independent bookstores, as well as large chain stores. And, with the recent addition of the Minnesota Center for the Book at the Hennepin County Library, there's even more reason to love books in Minneapolis.

Here are some of our favorite places to find books in Minneapolis:

 

Wild Rumpus: 


This independent bookstore specializes in children's books, but they also have a great selection of adult titles. They host regular storytimes and other events, making it a great place to take the kids.

 

Magers & Quinn Booksellers: 

 

This is one of the best independent bookstores in the city. They have an excellent selection of both new and used books, as well as a great cafe.

 

The Minnesota Center for the Book: 

 

This is a relatively new addition to the Minneapolis book scene. housed in the Hennepin County Library, it's a great place to find resources on Minnesota authors, as well as to attend readings and other events.


Literary activities are a great way to get everyone involved. Whether you’re all reading the same book together or reading your own stories, traveling places to visit great bookstores and libraries, these activities will help bring your family closer while teaching important skills. 


We hope you enjoy these ideas and that they inspire you to create some of your own!