Travel without leaving your couch by reading one of these destination-inspired books.

By Chloe Berge
Updated June 06, 2020
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Courtesy of Il Salviatino.

Practicing social distancing and limiting excursions like grocery shopping means stocking up so you don't run out of essentials like toilet paper and coffee, but for any culture fiend, the real travesty would be running out of books. While many bookstores have temporarily closed, there are still options for having new books delivered to your door (or e-reader). Now, just in time for World Book Day, hotels around the globe have opened up their private collections to transport you to faraway locales with destination-inspired stories.

Books Inspired by Europe

Courtesy of Il Salviatino.

The vast, emerald highlands of southern Iceland look like they're torn from a page of your favorite fantasy novel. Punctuated by waterfalls and secluded, rustic lodges like Hotel Ranga, it’s a dreamy place to lose yourself in a historical epic like "Njáls Saga," which is set in the vicinity of the hotel. In southern Europe, the pastoral, sun-drenched Il Salviatino is nestled in the hills overlooking Florence, Italy. The 15th-century villa’s library brims with over 4,000 books, including "Death in Florence," part of the Inspector Bordelli murder mystery series set in 1960s Italy.

Books Inspired by South and Central America

Courtesy of Origin & Theory by Ecoventura

The Ecoventura Theory — a 20-person, carbon-neutral megayacht — cruises around the remote, rugged Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. Fascinating naturalist books like "The Galapagos: A Natural History," and fiction like Kurt Vonnegut’s satirical "Galapagos" line the shelves of the boat’s on-board library. On the shores of the otherworldly Lake Atitlan in Guatemala sits Casa Palopo, a 15-key boutique hotel decorated with original Latin American artwork and artifacts and a collection of books inspired by local culture, such as "Popol Vuh," a sacred book of the indigenous Kʼicheʼ people that weaves together origin stories and spiritual history.

Books Inspired by Africa 

Courtesy of Wilderness Safaris

Virunga Lodge is hugged by two crater lakes not far from the fog-wreathed peaks of the Virunga Volcanoes in Rwanda. The lodge’s library is packed with books about gorilla conservation and Dian Fossey’s legacy, including her own "Gorillas in the Mist" and Nicholas Gordon’s "Murders in the Mist." In Botswana, the beautiful museum at the newly reopened Jao Camp by Wilderness Safaris is an explorer’s dream, showcasing local artifacts and artwork as well as books like the travelogue "The End of the Game" and rare botanical works like "Wild Flowers of the Transvaal" by Cythna Letty.

Books Inspired by North America 

Courtesy of Glacier View Lodge by Pursuit.

Floor-to-ceiling windows in the lounge at Glacier View Lodge in Jasper National Park, Alberta, frame a view of the imposing Athabasca Glacier. Warm up by the fireplace after a glacier traverse and leaf through books like "Our Vanishing Glaciers" by Robert William Sandford. High in Alaska’s alpine wilderness is Sheldon Chalet, founded by Alaskan pioneers Don and Roberta Sheldon. Guests embark on adventures like heli-picnics and glacier treks under the Northern Lights, then cozy up in a library stocked with books like "Denali’s Howl," a mountaineering page-turner.