There are tons of destinations all over the globe excellent for the book lover. If you find yourself in any of the regions mentioned in our post, try and make time for some of the book-related stops on the way. Some might be the reason for long drive while others might just be icing on the cake for an already planned vacation. Sometimes it’s just neat to know they exist.
Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture
If you’re going to be in Massachusetts, try stopping by The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield. Three large sculpture groupings made possible by generous public and private donations (as well as a federal HUD grant), were crafted by sculptor Lark Grey Dimond-Cates (author Theodor Seuss Geisel’s step-daughter).
The statues are made of bronze and some reach as tall as 14 feet in height. The park and statues that occupy it were built to inspire and Dr. Seuss drew inspiration for his own work from the neighborhood in Springfield, Massachusetts.
If you travel by Ligonier, Pennsylvania you’ll find a place where storybook characters come alive. Storybook Forest is a part of Idlewild Amusement and waterpark. Visitors get a chance to interact with classic storybook characters some of which are dressed up in costume.
Idlewild is one of the nation’s oldest amusement parks and has been in operation since the 1930’s. Storybook village was added in 1956 and the park continues to be a popular attraction.
The Cincinnati public library
This isn’t your small town library. The Cincinnati Public Library or PLCH (for Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County), is a public resource whose collection holds about nine million volumes. This makes it the 12th largest library in the United States. As of 2008 they had an annual circulation of more than 15 million items.
The inside of the main library is also a breath-taking site and has been in the heart of downtown Cincinnati since 1874. At the time (and even to this day) it was considered one of the most magnificent buildings in the country. A notable feature in many images of the building is its towering atrium with skylights on the ceiling.
Quebec’s Garden of Decaying Books
If you’re in Canada and in the mood for a more artistic interpretation of how old and discarded books should be used, check out the Garden of Decaying Books in Quebec. The area was designed by landscape architect Thilo Folkerts and Canadian artist Rodney LaTourelle.
It’s kind of interesting to think that books, once manufactured using items from nature, will now be reclaimed by it. Many of the stacks have already begun to grow their own moss and mushrooms.
Library at Biltmore House
Once the largest private home in the United States Biltmore House boasts an impressive at-home library. Biltmore House is in Ashville, North Carolina and you can take tours of the home year round. The library is part of the overall tour.
It contains about 10,000 volumes and has a secret passage to George Vanderbilt’s bedroom. It is said that he used the passage to quickly retrieve or return books in the night.
Research Library at the Skywalker Ranch
It is said that George Lucas (creator of the Starwars series) was a great admirer of motion picture research libraries. He created his own at the Skywalker Ranch about 40 minutes North of San Francisco. It was established in 1978 and was originally located in Los Angeles.
Among other materials, the Lucasfilm collection includes over 27,000 titles, over 17,000 feature films, documentaries, shows and clips, periodicals and newspapers, image files, scores and production reports.
Library of Congress
We can’t round off this list without mentioning one of our nations national treasures, the Library of Congress. It is our nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. Its mission is “to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people”.
The library was founded in 1800. At one point in our history it was actually burned by the British and its core collections lost. The public can take guided tours of the three buildings that house the library’s collections.
What book-related destinations are a must-see for you? Join in the conversation by commenting below.