What’s a holiday without the addition of a good book, along with a good spot to read it in? Here’s just five places I’ve had the good fortune to flip a few pages in and never forgotten about.
1. Coroico, Bolivia.
Heading out of La Paz towards the Amazon basin, you’ll start to come down from the mountain chill, on what has been widely touted as the worst road in the world. You’ll soon run into a town called Coroico, a pleasant, tropical place in the mountains that has the charm, aesthetics, and book browsing backdrop to tickle the fussiest of readers.
2. Cafe de Flor, Paris.
I admit, I was on the Hemingway trail in the period he worked with Gertrude Stein and was finishing The Sun Also Rises. In true tourist style, I sat in the Cafe de Flor and had a rum St. James, just as he did 85 years earlier. After paying homage to one of my heroes, I sat back and soaked up the view with a good book. The place was buzzing, young couples sparkled, and my book took me someplace else. Although it might have been the rum St. James.
3. Koh Mak, Thailand.
After initially being overwhelmed with the development on Ko Chang (off the Gulf of Thailand) my friend and I left for Ko Wai. Now things were getting beautiful. Continuing on, we soon ran into an island off an island off an island called Koh Mak. Here we had a hut on the beach, a virtually deserted island, a hammock, and miles of ocean and sand. I stayed here for a whole month. Page pondering paradise.
4. Totnes, Devon, England.
I had the good fortune to live in Totnes for six months before I left for South East Asia, and I wish I’d stayed longer. When my dad came to visit he peered out my window and said it looked liked something out of a Charles Dickens’ novel. With its own currency, a castle, and some of the most delightful streets and hills you’ll find anywhere, Totnes is a cracking place to have a read. Tip – head to the hill at the top of town behind the castle (in summer).
5. Gino’s, Fremantle, Western Australia.
One of the only original coffee shops left in Fremantle, Gino’s is a town icon, a meeting place of the Italian community, bookish types, artists, musicians and tourists alike. The inside is adorned with old photos of Italy, while the promenade outside is often sunny, inviting, and is a splendid place to watch the world go by. Once inside, it feels like you could be in Italy. Miglior caffè!