Once there was a penniless writer


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Don’t Be A Bored Tourist

British documentary photographer Laurence Stephens has a decidedly satirical eye, so it’s no surprise that his new book Bored Tourists exudes an  acerbic wit. Based on a photo series of the same title, the book takes a trenchant look at travelers who seem to be let down by their tourist experience.

Bored Tourists is the product of a summer-long trip throughout Spain and Portugal where Stephens noted a preponderance of unenthusiastic, apathetic, and just plain bored tourists. The images, while superficially lighthearted, present a jaundiced take on modern European mass tourism.

The book is published by East London indie press Hoxton Mini Press.

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Back of Beyond (update)

In May, I posted a story about this wonderful Utah bookstore, now just in time for the 50th anniversary of Edward Abbey’s environmental classic Desert Solitaire, Back of Beyond Books in Moab, has launched three different publishing projects to release work that both celebrates and interrogates Desert Solitaire. To help fund those projects, store owner Andy Nettell has also launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $15,000 and a duration of 30 days.

In November, Back of Beyond will publish Amy Irvine’s Desert Cabal: A New Season in the Wilderness in conjunction with Torrey House Press. In Desert Cabal, Irvine not only celebrates Abbey’s work and the influence it had on her life, but also challenges many of the dated and even sexist ideas within it.

The store will also be publishing a limited-run facsimile of the first draft of Desert Solitaire, featuring “hundreds of manuscript changes” in Edward Abbey’s own hand; only 50 sets will be available. And in partnership with Ken Sanders of Ken Sanders Rare Books, Back of Beyond will release four Desert Solitaire-themed “literary letterpress broadsides” featuring original work from writers Doug Peacock, Wendell Berry, Terry Tempest Williams and Amy Irvine.

“I’m so excited about these three publications,” said Nettell. “But it is a little scary, too. Even though I’ve been in the book trade for 18 years, we’ve never published a book and I really had no idea how expensive books and publications are to publish.”

Abbey’s Desert Solitaire has been the bestselling book at Back of Beyond throughout its 29 years of existence. Abbey himself worked as a ranger at nearby Arches National Monument for two seasons in the 1950s, and the journal he kept during that time would later grow into Desert Solitaire.

via Shelf Awareness

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Chill Out

I think that I deserve some credit for refraining from indulging in my Iceland obsession for a few weeks now. However, I believe that at the height of summer here in the northern hemisphere we could all use a little Icelandic break. The stunning video below by photographer and director Drew Doggett should help us all to chill out. In The Realm of Legends features the unmistakable landscape of Iceland along with gorgeous snow white Icelandic horses. The otherworldly video was scored by Oscar-winner Christopher Ward.

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Gratitude Giveaway

This post marks a milestone of sorts for Travel Between The Pages. After eight years or so of fairly regular posting, today we have reached 3000 posts. When TBTP launched in 2010, it was simply a hobby project for an inveterate procrastinator who spent way too much time reading blogs and wandering down internet rabbit holes rather than working. Over the years, I have been gratified to discover that the blog has reached people around the world. In fact, the best part of this little project is contact with so many smart, kind, and creative people who I would have otherwise never “met”. TBTP was meant to be, and continues to be, noncommercial, with the exception that I have been pleased to promote the work of talented artists, designers, writers, performers, and creators.

To mark this milestone, I would like to show my gratitude to each and ever reader, follower, commenter, liker, and even critic of Travel Between The Pages. Along with a hearty thanks, I would like to show my appreciation with a book giveaway. Those of you who are regulars here are aware that in IRL I am a bookseller and collector, with a specialization in antiquarian and collectible travel literature. So I thought that it would be appropriate to offer an old travel book. To that end, I will randomly select one name from the list of people who have followed, subscribed, or left a comment or like on the blog during the last year. I will then contact he giveaway winner and offer the choice of one book from the following titles: The Romance of London, Gordon Home (1911); Paris In A Week, The Blue Guides (1918); Baedeker’s Italy From The Alps to Naples, Karl Baedeker (1909).

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Some things are very cool


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Bookshelves and Veggie Meatballs

Say what you like about the Swedish megastore chain Ikea, I’ve been a fan for decades. Just looking up from my desk I can count eight Ikea bookshelves, two file cabinets, and the actual desk that I’m sitting at. And although I generally abhor shopping malls and big box stores, I can happily while away an afternoon wandering an Ikea and snacking on their vegan meatballs with lingonberry jam and binging on äppelkaka for dessert.

Last week the marketing powerhouse announced a new scheme to lure book lovers into one of its magastores. They are opening pop-up reading rooms in select locations. The first, in conjunction with the Man Booker Prize people, is in Wembly, London. Customers are invited to schedule hour-long reading breaks in specially outfitted reading lounges. I’m hoping that this scheme will reach my two local Ikeas. I’ll be first in line with a bag of Swedish licorice for sustenance.

A picture taken on November 2, 2014 in Stockholm shows a traditional Swedish dish, Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes, peas, lingonberry jam and cream sauce. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

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Let There Be Dragons

“The morality of fantasy and horror is, by and large, the strict morality of the fairy tale. The vampire is slain, the alien is blown out of the airlock, the Dark Lord is vanquished, and, perhaps at some loss, the good triumph – not because they are better armed but because Providence is on their side.
Why does the third of the three brothers, who shares his food with the old woman in the wood, go on to become king of the country? Why does Bond manage to disarm the nuclear bomb a few seconds before it goes off rather than, as it were, a few seconds afterwards? Because a universe where that did not happen would be a dark and hostile place. Let there be goblin hordes, let there be terrible environmental threats, let there be giant mutated slugs if you really must, but let there also be hope. It may be a grim, thin hope, an Arthurian sword at sunset, but let us know that we do not live in vain.”

“Let There Be Dragons” (1993), Terry Pratchett.

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Literary Touring

via Quid Corner

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Full cup, empty page


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