ATLANTA, GA — For traveling book-lovers, both Decatur and Atlanta have a lot to offer, according to a new list of must-see literary destinations.
Travel website Expedia this week compiled the list of 20 "exciting, literature-inspired cities" for vacationers to consider and Decatur and Atlanta made the list.
Factors considered for the list were the "literary cred" of each city — including historical ties to great writers, appearances in great books and whether noted contemporary authors call the cities home. The site also considered the number of bookstores in each city, which literary events it hosts and what the city is doing to foster literary arts through writing programs, lectures and workshops.
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"Reading about faraway lands or local gems can capture the imagination and turn us into explorers of life," Lily Rogers wrote for the site. "Seeking out the cities where favorite literary luminaries lived, worked, were inspired (and continue to be today), is one of the best ways to find places that will pull you into the same realm of wonder that only the best stories achieve."
Atlanta and Decatur made the list as a single entry. In it, the site mentions Emory University’s esteemed writing program and library, with its Matheson Reading Room. It notes Atlanta was home to writers including Flannery O’Connor, Margaret Mitchell, Alice Walker, W.E.B. DuBois and U.S. poet laureate Natasha Trethewey.
Under "Places and Events To Note," the list includes the following:
The AJC Decatur Book Festival, which is the largest independent book festival in the country and takes place over Labor Day weekend.Write Club Atlanta, which hosts monthly events at the Highland Inn Ballroom Lounge and produced a 2015 anthology of local literary voices.Book stores like Read Shop, on Paces Ferry Road, and Little Shop of Stories on Decatur Square.
According to Expedia, 78 percent of respondents to a recent survey said that books have helped inspire their vacations.
"That’s some pretty compelling evidence that the written word is a powerful driving force and book tourism is alive and well, so we went in search of cities across the globe that share this love of literature," Rogers wrote.
To see Expedia’s full list of top literary destinations, click here.
Photo courtesy AJC Decatur Book Festival