For some people a scent of perfume can transport them back to a different time, a piece of clothing can flash them back to great night out or a piece of music can remind them of a past memory. And I have experienced these too. However, I also experience the bookwork version where a setting in real life reminds you of a book that has been set in the same place.
I have stood in Paris looking at Louvre Museum, feeling swept up in the atmosphere of Paris and looking forward to all I was about to see. But another part of me was dying to immediately reread The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. I felt the same in Rome, I kept thinking of Angels and Demons and what happened in the book in the various locations.
When I come back from holidays, I usually have a desperate need to reread any favourite books set in those locations. The books remind of times I spent there and the time I spent there reminds me of the books, it seems like a bit of circle at times.
I think I like to get a clear picture of location while I read. I have occasionally googled a location if it is an area I’m very unfamiliar with just to get a feel for what it is like. And so when I visit in real life and experience a little of that city/country then I’m curious about the book all over again. I want to see if I recognise locations, etc. It doesn’t happen with every book just the books where the sense of setting is important to the book and where something about the setting has captured my imagination.
When I read a book set in a location, I haven’t been to and if the location is vividly described and sounds appealing, I subconsciously make a note that that is a place to visit in the future. Prague is on my must-visit-soon ever since I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It has always been a city I would like to see but reading the book flew it straight onto my high priority list. And I can all but guarantee you than when I do, I will also reread the book.
Reading a book after I’ve have been to the setting makes it all feel closer to me. Plus I love rereading just to see how well the atmosphere and reality of the location was captured. I love mixing in my own real life memories with my bookish memories and together they conjure up something magical for me.
Bookish Chat : Can you identify? Is this something you do? Where is your favourite book location that you have visited in real life? Or what location is on your travel wishlist?