What better way to spend your holidays than rounding out your love of books, authors, and everything connected to these two subjects?
The Cimetière du Père Lachaise, Paris, France
At 44 hectares or just more than 100 acres, the Père Lachaise Cemetery is the biggest graveyard and the largest park in Paris. It’s dotted with austere headstones, Gothic tombs, ornate mausoleums, and sculptures, and functions as the final resting place of some of the most famous authors in the world.
Pay your respects to the giants of literature like Charles Baudelaire, Gertrude Stein, Honoré de Balzac, Marcel Proust, and Oscar Wilde when you visit and don’t forget Shakespeare & Company. This historic bookshop is situated on the Left Bank and saw writers of the calibre of Ernest Hemingway, Stephen Spender, and TS Eliot giving author readings back in the day.
El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina
This magnificent bookstore was once a movie theatre, and some of the truly impressive original architecture remains in the form of embellished theatre boxes, plush red drapes around a stage, and rounded galleries. The stage is now a café where you can sip a coffee while browsing through a book or listen to live piano performances as you try to decide which of the 120 000 titles you’re going to take home with you!
Did you know that the capital of Argentina has more bookstores-per-resident than anywhere else in the world? If you’re a bibliophile you’ll need to make a plan to get there! Whether you squirrel spare change away every month, devote your 13th cheque to a savings account until you can afford a ticket, or spend your Cricket betting sites’ wins this way, you need to go.
The Jane Austen Centre, Bath, England
Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, two of Jane Austen’s most popular novels, are set in Bath, in Somerset, a county in South West England. This makes the Jane Austen Centre in Bath nothing less than a holy shrine for fans of the author!
This permanent exhibition is set in a beautiful Georgian townhouse and offers a sneak-peak into what life was like during the Regency era and explains how the city influenced Austen.
Popular attractions include a realistic wax sculpture of Jane Austen by Mark Richards, the award-winning sculptor, and the fact that visitors can dress up in authentic costumes from this period in history.
Try to plan your trip to the city for September because that’s when the annual Jane Austen Festival takes place. It includes a costumed ball, dramatic readings, supper in Regency tearooms and walking tours.
Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland
Trinity College’s old library is the largest one in Ireland, being built between 1712 and 1732. As a legal deposit, the library holds rights to receive all material published in the Republic of Ireland free, the only Irish library to hold such rights in the UK.
The most famous room in the old library is the Long Room, which houses 200 000 of the oldest books.