The first weekend I lived in San Francisco I found a local used bookstore in my neighbourhood, where I promptly bought half a dozen books that were set in San Francisco. That wasn’t my intention when I walked in the store, but it was a great decision.
Seeing a city through the lens of a piece of fiction set there is something I really enjoy. However, finding a book set in a particular city isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
This weekend I stumbled upon a site that makes finding that perfect novel a bit easier. Called Destination Reads, the site has books listed by where they’re set, making it easy for you to find something to read set in the city of your choosing, provided that city is a larger one.
Click on Paris, for instance, and you’ll see suggestions for A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo. Click on Shanghai and you’ll see suggestions for A Brief History of the Samurai by Jonathan Clements.
Unfortunately, right now there aren’t a ton of cities to choose from, but if the city you want isn’t listed you can make a request to have it included in the future.
The idea here is that you would read a book set somewhere you’re travelling, either on the way or while you’re there to set the mood. That said, I think it could also be a fun way to take a short virtual holiday of sorts.
Sure, reading a few books isn’t a replacement for a trip to Madrid, but it could be enough to help you feel as though you’ve at least experienced it a bit, even if you didn’t make it off your couch in the process.