The reason I’m in London….
Lights and London’s eye. The London Eye, London, England. December, 2014.
If you’ve been paying attention, dear reader, you’ll remember that I moved to London four months ago to get my Master’s degree (and travel when I can, obviously). So this week in class, we’re really starting to look into our masters dissertations and, with my focus, this means one thing: major nerding out when it comes to anything literature based.
My focus seems to be settling of comparative history, mixed with industry analysis with a dash of grub street while my elective is looking at the history and culture of books (as in the actual object and construction of books)…
So yes, I’m (being) a book nerd.
But what, you may well ask, does this have to do with travel?
I’ve said it before and I’ll probably continue to say for a while to come: plan your travels to your passions. And that, my friend, is what I’m starting to do.
In just shy of a month, I’ll be on my reading week and, since most of my breaks have been spent wandering pretty aimlessly around London (not a bad thing to do or a bad place to do it), I’m working hard now to be free of school responsibilities and free to wander out further.
This is where the nerd comes in. While I can’t really travel around the world in the week I have off, I’ve been doing my research and there are a few things I’ll be going out to see.
First, I’m planning a Bookstore Tour of some of the coolest bookstores (look and history) that I can get too in the week. While there are lists like this that give you tons of options from around the world (which, hopefully, I will manage to get out too eventually!), I’ve narrowed my field to stops in England and France.
I’ve been to both of these countries before and plan to go again, so making a few day trips out and about to spend the day wandering to and around bookshops doesn’t seem like a waste of travel days—it’s all about the experience!
Right now, I’m looking at Barter Books, Stanfords (cause how can I not check out a store for travel-centric books?), Hatchards (Piccadilly’s, of course, for the history), and Daunt Books throughout London and (more broadly) England, and Le Bal de Ardents and (one of the highlights) Shakespeare and Company in France.
During this time, I’ll also be finding the location of the extinct “Grub Street”, which is framing my dissertation, and then I’m off to Bath for a belated birthday, to see one of Box Tale Soup‘s literary productions. That week, they are putting on puppet enactments of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass” for children’s theatre; and M.R. James’ “Casting the Runes” which are both supposed to be brilliant. I’m sad they aren’t doing Austen’s “Northanger Abbey” at this time, but I’m keeping my eyes peeled for other chances!
So, that’s my nerdy plan and I’ll be updating you on my comings and goings, as well as any adventures unfolding in the next couple of weeks and remember: life’s too short not to follow your passions, even if they lead to a week of running in and out of bookshops!
This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.