Literary Tourist: Madrid, Spain

LiteraryTourist.com makes planning your next vacation a breeze, bringing a directory of independent bookstores, literary destinations, and bookish activities & events from all around the world right to your fingertips.

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Bookshops on the street in Madrid

Lovely, Literary Madrid

You can tell that a city takes literature seriously when one of its neighborhoods is called “The Literary Quarter.

Madrid’s Barrio de las Letras is located right in the center of town. Filled with narrow streets, pedestrian walks and pleasant squares such as the Plaza de Santa Ana’s, it’s here that you’ll find the houses where revered literary figures of the Spanish Golden Age such as Lope de Vega, Quevedo, Góngora and Cervantes lived and wrote. Look down at some of the cobbled streets and you’ll see short excerpts from their works. Look up, and you’ll note that many street signs and corners bear their names.

And look around: you’ll find everything from traditional cobblers, silversmiths and lute-makers, to ultra-modern clothing vendors, avant-garde restaurants and pavement ‘tapas’ cafes.

To top it off, the Literary Quarter is home to the CaixaForum Museum and very close to the Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums.

So, this part of town is a must visit for the Literary Tourist; but wait. There’s much more…

Visit Literary Tourist to see the full itinerary of bookish destinations in Madrid!

Amber is the current marketing coordinator at Biblio. A lifelong love of the written word brought her to Biblio and she happily spends her days talking about books and delving into the wide world of antiquarian books.

You can also find her in the garden or writing about brewing and plant adventures at Pixie’s Pocket.


Literary Tourist: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago's Modern Poetry Association
Chicago’s Modern Poetry Association

LiteraryTourist.com makes planning your next vacation a breeze, bringing a directory of independent bookstores, literary destinations, and bookish activities & events from all around the world right to your fingertips.

The 1890s were rockin’ times for Chicago.  The World’s Fair in 1893, for example, changed the entire landscape of the city.  Four hundred temporary buildings were erected surrounded by a maze of fake Venetian canals, all lit up by Edison’s bright new bulbs. The event attracted millions of visitors from around the world.  You can read all about it in a great book entitled Devil in the White City.

Meanwhile really big, ‘Chicago style’ steel skyscrapers were soaring up downtown in the Loop, anchored by giant department stores and banks.

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Literary Tourist: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Caliban Book Shop in Pittsburgh, PA
Caliban Book Shop in Pittsburgh, PA

LiteraryTourist.com makes planning your next vacation a breeze, bringing a directory of independent bookstores, literary destinations, and bookish activities & events from all around the world right to your fingertips.

It is summer, and it’s time to start planning your vacation!

If you are a book-lover, one city that might be of interest is Pittsburgh.  Once known as ‘Hell with the lid off’ – it’s where Andrew Carnegie built his steel empire.  This brilliant businessman and great philanthropist is perhaps best known to bibliophiles as the person who funded the building of thousands of libraries all around the English speaking world.  Nineteen branches of the Pittsburgh public system are Carnegie libraries, including the main branch.  Here you’ll find  a rare book collection that includes some fascinating volumes on the history and culture of gypsies and the life of Oliver Cromwell.  In addition there are works by Dickens, Kipling, Clemens and many other famed authors, plus a selection of late 19th and early 20th century children’s literature.

This is just the start. There are some good used antiquarian shops in town, several active reading series programs and a number of nationally renowned theatre companies.

Check out the Literary Tourist listings map of Pittsburgh, and one possible day-long Literary Tourist itinerary.

Enjoy!