12 holiday stays for bookaholics

posted in: 2. Illustrators and Authors | 9


Earlier this week I was contacted by a blog reader who is spending a few weeks in the UK and wanted some advice about the children’s literature highlights she shouldn’t miss whilst in the country. This got me thinking about dream places to stay for all of us who love to read.

Recently a central London Waterstones bookshop offered one lucky reader the chance to spend a night amongst its bookshelves, inspired by the case of a tourist who accidentally got locked in the store last month. Unfortunately it was a one-off opportunity to sleep in the bookshop, but here are 12 more places you can stay in on holiday and read to your heart’s content (and one place that might inspire you to never leave home at all..).

ReadingLasses in Wigtown
ReadingLasses in Wigtown
  • ReadingLasses is a “charming bookshop and cafe with a lovely self-catering apartment, with bed and breakfast possible. Situated in Wigtown, Scotland’s national book town, ReadingLasses is surrounded by hills, seascapes, cliffs and some of the most beautiful countryside in South West Scotland”.

  • Photo:  Elliott Brown on Flickr
    Photo: Elliott Brown on Flickr
  • The Library House is “a beautiful Georgian Grade II listed town house situated in the historic core of the World Heritage Site of the Ironbridge Gorge” in the centre of the UK. Before being converted into a Bed and Breakfast, it was the local public library. It still retains some of its original library shelving. Bedrooms are named after Chaucer, Milton, Eliot and Hardy. Another former library you can stay in is the Althea Library in Padstow, Cornwall.

  • Gladstone's Library
    Gladstone’s Library
  • Gladstone’s Library “is Britain’s finest residential library”, a Grade 1 Listed building in North Wales “which is dedicated to dialogue, debate and learning for open-minded individuals and groups, who are looking to explore pressing questions and to pursue study and research in an age of distraction and easy solutions.”. You can find out lots more in this travel article from the Guardian newspaper.

  • The Ceilidh Place
    The Ceilidh Place
  • In Ullapool, in North West Scotland, you can stay in The Ceilidh Place, a cafe – bookshop – events location – and place to stay in a very beautiful part of the world. The bookshop has “a stunning collection [making] the shop one of the best of the small independent shops around. It hosts an eclectic mix of titles suitable for all ages and interests covering everything from fiction to children’s books, art, history, music, poetry, politics, natural history, travel writing and biography.”

  • Stay above a bookshop in County Kerry, Ireland.
    Stay above a bookshop in County Kerry, Ireland.
  • If you’re looking for a bookish place to stay in Ireland you could try this self catering apartment in Kenmare, Kerry, which is located above a bookshop. Other self-catering apartments I’ve found above bookshops include Mansard House in Aldeburgh, Suffolk and the Ashness Apartment in Keswick, Cumbria.

  • Photo: zoetnet on Flickr
    Photo: zoetnet on Flickr
  • If you’re lucky you can stay a night or two at the Parisian bookshop, Shakespeare and Company. You can’t pre-book, you have to be happy to work a couple of hours in the bookshop for each day you stay, reading a book a day, and leaving a one-page biography of yourself alongside those of everyone else who’s been fortunate enough to have stayed in the bookshop. You can delight in the photo diary of one reader who stayed for two months in the bookshop here.

  • libraryhotel

  • I really do wonder what Library Hotel, New York is like: “The Library Hotel concept is inspired by the Dewey Decimal system. Each of the 10 guestroom floors honor one of the 10 categories of the Dewey Decimal System and each of the 60 rooms are uniquely adorned with a collection of books and art exploring a distinctive topic within the category it belongs to. Guests are invited to unwind from their urban adventures by enjoying the quiet exploration of over 6,000 books.” Do take a look at the rooms you can choose from; I think I’d have to go for room 800.005 – Fairy Tales. The whole concept makes me smile, and I love that the advertising photos include someone reading Shaun Tan’s The Arrival!

  • The Library Hotel and Wellness Resort in Cyprus “consists of 11 uniquely styled suites named after poets, thinkers and writers from all over the world… The main attraction of this mansion is an impressive library lounge with an open fireplace and a collection of interesting books on various subjects with an emphasis on history, philosophy, culture and civilization.” Would you stay in the Franz Kafka Room? The Nietzsche Room? The Rimbaud Room?

  • And if none of the above is quite what you are looking for, take inspiration from Michael Seidenberg’s apartment on the Upper East Side and transform your own home into a bookshop. That way you’ll always be able to sleep surrounded by books:

    There’s No Place Like Here: Brazenhead Books from Etsy on Vimeo.

    9 Responses

    1. Alex

      This is the perfect post for book lovers! Thanks for finding all those places and sharing about them.

    2. Frances

      This is fantastic – why has no-one mentIoned this to me before? I know why, cos they wouldn’t want to come on my bus and holiday! Who cares, I’ll go without them!

    3. Angela

      These are great, Zoe! If these don’t work their way into our schedule this trip, they’ll be perfect for the next one. Thank you for sharing these.

    4. Ivana

      Thank you for featuring the Library Hotel on your list! We truly believe we’re a wonderful getaway from any book lover!

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