Now hear me out. I love real books. I cherish my books like old friends and I even keep the ones that I struggled through (I'm looking at you Ulysses) as badges of honour upon my bookshelf. But as someone who has moved around a good bit and often lived in smaller spaces, I have had to put my objections to e-readers aside. It's hard to top the convenience of a Kindle when you can have almost any book in the world at the simple touch of a button. And yet, you can never replace the feel and smell of a real book.
Enter KleverCase. Made in England by a family of traditional book binders, these beautiful hardback e-reader cases offer the perfect solution for gadget loving bibliophiles. Their classic collection includes Pride & Prejudice, The Great Gatsby, Dracula and Peter Pan.
A few years ago, I received a Pride and Prejudice cover as a Christmas present and while I absolutely adore it, I'm glad to see that the creators have now come up with a magnetic version to make it easier to read with one hand.
The clever people at KleverCase must have known that we book bloggers would be all over this as they have set up an easy affiliate program and provided us with discount code for our readers. Use the code Bookish76 to save 10% and yours truly will also get a commission. Sounds like a win-win in my book!
One of the world's most legendary hotels, The Ritz has been synonymous with luxury since it first opened its doors in 1898. In the 1920's, literary expats like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway frequented the hotel and later referenced it in their works (Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises and Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night). Today the hotel even boasts a bar named for Hemingway, who was said to have 'liberated the Ritz' after the War.
15 Place Vendôme
It was in Room 16 of this legendary Left Bank hotel that Oscar Wilde quipped from his deathbed: "I suppose I shall have to die above my means". Today the hotel highlights this literary connection with the Oscar Wilde Suite, which features the author's unpaid hotel bill mounted on the wall.
Wilde would be glad to know that the wallpaper he so famously disliked ("My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.") has been replaced. In fact, the entire hotel has undergone extensive renovations in recent years, making it one of Paris' most luxurious boutique hotels.
13 Rue des Beaux Arts
Tucked away at the edge of Montmartre, this elegant hotel is a local favourite thanks to its rooftop bar with Eiffel Tower views. The Terrass also boasts an unlikely literary claim to fame: it was here that Hans and Margeret Rey began the children's stories that would later become Curious George.
12-14 Rue Joseph de Maistre
The Pavillon Des Lettres
Though somewhat lacking in literary credentials, this four star hotel near the Champs Élysées offers a piece of bohemian Paris in one of the city's wealthiest neighbourhoods. With each room named after a famous author, The Palvillon pays tribute to literary greats, from Anderson to Zola. All around the hotel, you'll see quotes and famous passages from their books and subtle nods to literature
12 rue des Saussaies
Situated in the heart of Mayfair, this luxury London hotel has long been a favorite among literary and artistic circles. The Dorchester began hosting the famous Foyles Literary Luncheons in the 1930's, which allowed readers the opportunity to mingle with well-known authors and discuss their latest works. Always a popular destination for movie stars, the hotel has also hosted literary notables such as Somerset Maugham and Cecil Day Lewis.
Park Lane, Mayfair
One of London's original grand hotels, The Langham has attracted a parade of rich and famous guests over the years, from Napoleon III to Princess Diana, as well as literary giants like Mark Twain. In 1889, the hotel hosted an important meeting between Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle and a literary agent, who persuaded the men to write for his magazine. This encounter led to Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and Conan Doyle's second Sherlock Holmes story, The Sign of Four.
Living nearby, Conan Doyle was a regular visitor to The Langham and featured the hotel in several Sherlock Holmes stories. Just a short walk from the Sherlock Holmes Museum, The Langham is the perfect destination for fans of the fictional detective.
1c Portland Place
Burgh Island Hotel
Located on its own tidal island, this iconic Devon hotel was a favorite of local author Agatha Christie, who's novel And Then There Were None was set on a fictionalised version of Burgh Island. Built in 1929, this stunning Art Deco building was lovingly restored in 2006 and still retains all of its 1930's glamour. The hotel hosts regular murder mystery parties and jazz evenings, as well an annual luncheon during the Agatha Christie festival in September.
Burgh Island Hotel
South Devon TQ7 4BG
The Balmoral Hotel
While staying at this iconic Edinburgh hotel in 2007, J.K. Rowling finished her final novel in the Harry Potter series. To commemorate the event, Rowling signed a marble bust of Hermes in her suite with the inscription: "JK Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in this room (552) on 11th Jan 2007". In 2010, the author appeared in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey at the hotel.
1 Princes Street
Edinburgh EH2 2EQ
Beatrix Potter bought this large country house for her recently widowed mother in 1915. The Potter family had previously stayed here as guests and it was during one of those visits that Beatrix completed the illustrations for Timmy Tiptoes and Pigling Bland. Now a charming hotel, Lindeth Howe offers a relaxing lakeside retreat.
Cumbria LA23 3JF
Founded in 1837, Brown's Hotel boasts an illustrious history and a long list of notable literary guests including Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, JM Barrie and Arthur Conan Doyle. It was here that Mark Twain famously shocked London society by appearing in the lobby in his dressing gown and slippers. Today guests can opt to stay in the Kipling Suite, where Rudyard Kipling once worked on The Jungle Book.
London W1S 4BP
The CADoGAN Hotel
Situated in the heart of Knightsbridge, this boutique hotel boasts a fascinating history. Built in 1887, the hotel was once home to Lillie Langtry, a stage actress and mistress to King Edward VII. A close friend of Langtry, Oscar Wilde was also a regular visitor and in 1895, Wilde was arrested here in room 118 (pictured). The hotel is currently undergoing an extensive renovation and will reopen as The Belmond Cadogan later this year.
75 Sloane Street
London, SW1X 9SG
One of Sir Ian Fleming's favourite watering holes, the bar of this five-star London hotel is famed for its dry Martinis and it is thought to be the origin of the phrase 'shaken not stirred'. With its luxurious suites and legendary bar, Dukes London is just the kind of place James Bond would have stayed.
35 St James's PL
St. James's, Mayfair
The Royal Albion Hotel
Just a few steps from the sandy beaches of Viking Bay, this charming seaside hotel dates back to 1776. Charles Dickens frequented the Royal Albion during his regular visits to Broadstairs, before taking up residence at nearby Bleak House. The hotel plays an important role in the town’s annual Dickens festival in June.
6 – 12 Albion Street
Beloved children's author, Enid Byton was a regular visitor to this Dorset hotel in the 1950's and it was on one of her many visits here that she first discovered Brownsea Island, which featured as Whispering Island in Five Have a Mystery to Solve.
Ferry Road, Studland,
Dorset, BH19 3AH
"Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square. Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer’s day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o’clock naps, and by night fall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum."
But it certainly felt hot to me when I stepped out of my air conditioned rental car onto North Alabama Avenue in front of the courthouse. This place is well and truly off the beaten path. Fortunately for me, it only involved an hourlong detour on the six hour drive from the Atlanta airport to my grandmother's house in Mississippi. It's a place I have wanted to come for sometime, I regret that I wasn't able to get there before Harper Lee passed away. I know, I know. It's not as if I would have been able to meet her, but it would have been nice to know she was still there. After all, Monroeville is still a small town and I would have truly felt that I was in the presence of greatness.
Few books have stuck with me like To Kill A Mockingbird and I know I'm not alone. Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel always ranks high reader polls. In my mind, the novel and the film are inseparable. This is perhaps due to the way it was taught at school - our teacher showed us the movie as soon as we finished reading the book. Those were always the best days at school and I would look forward to English class all day, when the teacher would turn off the lights and pull out the old TV on a book cart. School almost felt cozy then and even though I was sure many of my classmates had never seen anything in black and white, they were all completely captivated by it.
As many times as I read it or watch the classic movie, the story grabs hold of me like I'm hearing it for the first time. Reading it as a young girl, I was always in awe of Scout, her plucky courage and outspokeness. But now when I read it, I am simply in awe of Harper Lee. For it seems to me that not a single word is out of place. How did she do it? Since the contraversial publication of Go Set a Watchman, Lee's first attempt at a novel, we can now see a part of the process that led to her masterpiece and although I personally disagree with the publishers' decision to release it, it did help to see just how much work Lee had to put it in.
Cafe La Rotonde
Restaurant - Le Polidor
La Closerie des Lilas
A Christmas Carol
A Guide To...
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Gone With The Wind
In Search Of...
Last Of The Mohicans
Pride And Prejudice
Real Places In...
Rochester And Chatham
The Lake District
The Peak District
To Kill A Mockingbird