Visit more famous bookstores and libraries
My favorite bookstore in the world is Shakespeare and Company in Paris, which I finally got to see in person a few years ago and is just as magical as I suspected. My favorite library in the world is the Library of Congress, which we visited a few years ago on one of the rare days when the reading room is open to the public, and which I’m hoping to revisit sometime in the near future. Future wishlist destinations include The Strand Bookstore in New York City and the Firestone Library at Princeton University, which has some rare J.D. Salinger papers and manuscripts I’d love to see.
Visit Walt Whitman’s birthplace and house
Whitman is my favorite poet, no contest, so I’d like to make some pilgrimages to places where he lived and loved. The birthplace site on Long Island seems like a good start, but I’d also like to see the only home he ever owned and any artifacts that seem significant.
Visit Edith Wharton’s legendary home, The Mount
Another of my favorite American authors, Wharton is most often associated with New York City but owned and lovingly decorated The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts. The gardens look amazing, and I’d like to stroll the halls and marvel at her library, as well as the bedroom where she most often wrote, dropping the pages on the floor for her maid to collect later.
Read Bleak House
One of my favorite contemporary novelists is Nick Hornby, and he has said repeatedly that Dickens is his favoriate author and Bleak House his favorite of Dickens’ work. I’ve read Oliver Twist, Great Expectations , and A Christmas Carol, so Bleak House is next on my list.
Go to a Michael Chabon reading and get books signed
Chabon has written some of my favorite books, including The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (with bonus content), the book I rave about to everyone willing to listen and the book I think every single person I know should read (including you!). One of the joys of loving an author who’s still alive and working should be getting to hear them read, and I’m determined to do it.
Own some bookish clothes
I own a Gatsby tote bag I love dearly and a Holden-themed red hunting hat necklace, but somehow I don’t own any t-shirts, hoodies, dresses or other book-adorned clothes. Our Lower School librarian owns this beauty of a book-dress, but I’ll probably start with this long-sleeved Little Women pullover or this pretty Pride & Prejudice peacock.
Read War and Peace
There are many, many books in the world I haven’t read, but somehow War and Peace calls to me, challenges me, the way I suppose Mt. Everest does to mountain-climbers. I bought this book three years ago and have given up twice, but someday, I’m sure I’ll conquer it.