Saturday, November 18, 2006

My "book tour" of Europe...

Well, I'm back in action after ten glorious days on the Mediterranean visiting Spain, the South of France and Italy. Strange to be back on the Eastern Time Zone and even stranger to be back at work. I get sleepy and hungry at the oddest times.

While looking at 3,000 years of history, I couldn't help but venture my eyes around to see what people were reading and where they were getting their books. I think the most fascinating book display was in Barcelona. In the train station, no less. Check it out...

A vending machine. Cool, eh? The translation is something like all your books are in this point. The machine had several classics in there, nothing modern.

Then, in Cannes, I found this interesting little book store...

Mainly "how to" books and classics, no YA or romance books. But it was Cannes. LOL!

In Nice, however, on a market street, I found the following boxes of books for one euro each:

In Florence, I ran upon this used book store. Looked like they had some older British chick lit books in the stacks.

And finally, in Rome, where I was headed down into the Metro, I saw this vendor who had a stack of Harlequins and Silhouettes displayed like post cards. Pretty cool...

And last, but not least, the famed book stands in Paris (where we had a layover due to a missed connection -- boo hoo, a free night in Paris) over by Notre Dame on the Seine. It's lined with book stands and vendors selling art and books and music.

That concludes my book tour of Europe. Now, next time I go on tour in Europe, I hope it's with my sorority series! = )

When you've traveled to other places, have you noticed books, how they're displayed, what they cost and what people are reading? Share your book tour, too.

Marley = )
Sorority Rush Begins - Spring 2008!
Puffin Books


TinaFerraro said...

What an interesting post! I loved the pictures as well as the "scoop" on European bookstores.

In 2001, my family and I traveled through Australia. One of my favorite memories was browsing at a Sydney train station newsstand, and spotting the very book my daughter and her friends had been impatiently awaiting back home. Furthermore, it was in trade paperback, not hardcover like she was going to have to spring for (until trade come out a year or so later).

Needless to say, she was thrilled to get this "preview". We had to keep nudging her out of the pages on the train ride to look at the passing kangaroos.


Anonymous said...

I'm curious. What was the book?

TinaFerraro said...

Anon, I'm pretty sure it was book two of the Artemis Fowl series.


stephhale said...


Books in a vending machine? OMG, that's like THE coolest thing I've ever seen. Way better than candy! I also loved the display where they were set up like postcards. Very cool! I can't wait to see more pics! And I am so glad you are back and you didn't get that nasty shipboard sickness!

Simone Elkeles said...

That was awesome to see, thanks so much for sharing! When I'm on a plane, I usually stare at people's books to see what they're reading. They probably think I'm being nosy, and...well, I guess I am.

The most amazing feeling would be if someone was reading one of my books at the airport. I'd probably gush over the person so much they wouldn't believe me if I told them I was the author...they'd probably call security.

Do you think Nora Roberts, when she finds someone reading one of her books, says, "I'm Nora?".

~Simone Elkeles

Marley Gibson said...

I'm exactly the same as you, Simone. Especially riding the train. In Boston *everyone* reads, so I'm like this manic little kid trying to see what everyone is reading. Heck, that's how I learned about the Red Dress Ink line years ago because I saw someone reading MILK RUN and I checked out who the publisher was. LOL!

I always tell people I know when I see someone reading their book. Last sighting was a lady at my pool here reading one of Rocki St. Claire's books. I wanted to rush over to her and say, "She's a good friend of mine!" We writers are so silly.

Marley = )

Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...

Those are great pics, Marley! Thanks for sharing! I think the vending machines are awesome. =D

Nadine said...

Great post Marley!

I've been wanting to post for ages about how chick lit has been sneaking in between Che Guevara biographies and Fidel Castro speech pamphlets in the markets of Havana, but those of you who know me know I am very, very lazy...

They have proper bookstores in Havana, but it's waaay more interesting (and fun) to go hunting in the makeshift stands set up in the gorgeous Plaza de Armas... sort of like scouting a second-hand clothing store, but for books, and against a backdrop of Spanish colonial architecture... (okay, bad's a picture:

The mix is so eclectic, it's crazy... I think the first chick lit I found a few years ago was a German Marian Keyes. I was so psyched I found a chick lit novel among nineteenth century science textbooks, I almost bought it even though I can't understand a word of German... this year I found several chick lit books, and many in English, though I didn't recognize the authors (sorry!).

... and I'm with you about wanting to shout it from the rooftops when you see a book out there in the world, written by someone you know. I always gush when I see my friends' books in our local Cayman Islands bookstores (I saw one of Lani Diane Rich's recently). I should probably write to those writers and tell them... if you've made it all the way into a Cayman Islands bookstore, that's gotta feel pretty good...

Diana Peterfreund said...

The only books in English they seemed to have in the Greek islands were MIlls and Boone romances.

Genre books are well-represented throughout Australia and New Zealand -- I found their bookstores to be much like the bookstores in America.

Young Adult Authors said...

Marley, really cool pictures! I love the book vending machine. What's more nutritious than a good read?

Anonymous said...

The vending machine is wonderful! What a cool idea. Thanks for sharing,