This all started with some literary wanderlust. I was reading The White Queen by Philippa Gregory and wanted to see the Château de Lusignan (the house Melusina is said to have built for her husband). I started paying more attention to where books were set, taking note of interesting and beautiful places so that ONE DAY, when I ventured overseas again, I could fill my trip with visits to places both real and imagined.
A trip overseas looked like a vague dream and so, when I went for a weekend trip to Sydney, I decided to start local. I looked at my bookshelves and picked out a book I remembered was set in Sydney (Looking for Alibrandi) and reread it on the flight down, ready to take notes on the locations so I could visit them. The story was still familiar but I had forgotten all about the setting. All I remembered was that I hadn’t been able to picture Sydney very well and, as a result, the characters in my mind walked around a kind of No Man’s Land.
Reading it again, I was excited to find that the suburb where Josie Alibrandi lives is a place I had come to know well in the last few years. The characters stepped out of No Man’s Land and into a real, vibrant city. You can read more about that in my first Paint the Town Read post.
Maybe people from places like New York get this feeling all the time, since so many books and movies are set there. But for someone who comes from Brisbane, Australia, it’s not often that you can read a book and say, ‘I know exactly what street/building you’re talking about. I walk past that all the time.’
So the basic premise of Paint the Town Read is this:
1. Pick a book.
2. Go to a place where that book was set or (if it was adapted for cinema or TV) filmed.
3. Take a photo of the book at that place.
4. Get excited when you imagine that you are right where those characters have walked.
While I would love to travel overseas all the time or go on big long trips, I’ve got to work to be able to afford those things. So between big trips, I’m happy to continue my little local project, and eager to read more books set in Australia so I can continue Paint the Town Read around my home town or on my next trip interstate. Wherever I end up, I’m excited to be able to Paint the Town Read.
Are you going on an awesome trip or do you live in an awesome place? Tag your photos with #caapaintthetownread so others can live vicariously through you and be insanely jealous.