It’s sunny but freezing out. Jason and Kelly have found a Sunday farmer’s market that they want to check out, in the neighborhood of Marylebone (which, incidentally, I’m not entirely sure I know how to pronounce). The market is small but filled with many stalls of fresh baked goods and prepared foods; a culinary school sets up shop and sells their products, which seems to me a pretty ingenious idea. After grabbing some hot drinks, we decide to wander up the high street.
Unexpectedly, we come across Daunt Books. Jason enjoys bookstore browsing as well, so Kelly suggests we go in and take our time.
It is apparently primarily a travel bookshop, with three levels of books devoted not just to your Frommer’s / Fodor’s / Lonely Planet guides, but also history and fiction set in specific nations and regions. What a fantastic idea! Instead of just going to the traditional travel section before a trip, buying a glossy guide and reading the perfunctory five pages of ‘history’ of the locale up front, this encourages the purchaser to consider learning more about the place they plan to visit. What better way to prepare for a trip to Berlin than to read about the thriving artist communities, or perhaps pick up a novel written by a resident of the town.
Despite the main focus of the shop, I end up picking up two books that aren’t necessarily travel-related: one on the beauty of silence and one on using my phone less. Can you sense a theme?
We’ve been here for nearly four weeks. I’ve come down with a cold that has (as usual) led to a nasty cough, and I’m having trouble just accepting that I need to be still. I don’t need to always be occupying my time or mind, always running around or doing something. But that can be hard with so many readily available distractions. Hopefully these books will help with that.
I can see returning to this shop prior to us starting on our travels. I know that Belgium is high on the list (Beer! Fries! Chocolate!), but I know nothing about the country and figure it would be good to get a sense before we visit. I have no doubt this shop will help with that.