Bookish bucket list: 6 book-inspired experiences across the globe, by Shelley Carter

Image by Free Photos from Pixabay

Alice’s Tea Cup, New York City, United States

Inspired by the Mad Hatter’s tea party, Alice’s Tea Cup in New York City offers patrons a whimsical high tea complete with finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and, of course, a full menu of different teas! There are three different locations throughout the city: the flagship Alice’s Tea Cup in Manhattan, Alice’s Tea Cup Chapter II on the other side of Central Park, and Alice’s Tea Cup To Go in Brooklyn.

The Elephant Cafe, Edinburgh, Scotland

While JK Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series in a variety of cafes throughout Edinburg, The Elephant Cafe has become a tourist hotspot for those wanting to visit where the characters came to life. The cafe claims to be the “birthplace of Harry Potter” (according to the sign out the front), and overlooks the stunning Edinburgh Castle. If you do plan to visit, make plenty of time as the lines can be extremely long!

Mr B’s Reading Spa, Bath, United Kingdom

Mr B’s Reading Spa offers the ultimate bookish experience. You get to sit down, eat cake and chat to a ‘bibliotherapist’, who will learn about your preferences and reading tastes. At the end of your appointment, they will select a pile of books based on your answers. You will need to book at least 6 months in advance (yep, they’re THAT popular!), but I think it’s totally worth it! Emma from Drinking By My Shelf visited the Reading Spa and vlogged her experience, which you can watch here.

BookCon, New York City, United States

Think Comic Con, but with your favourite authors and a heap of advance copies of books up for grabs! Attending BookCon is a rite of passage for many BookTubers, and I can see why! Each year BookCon boasts a myriad of panels, writing workshops, book signings, and everything in between. This year, guests include Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give, On the Come Up), Becky Albertalli (Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda), Jenny Han (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before) and Holly Black (The Cruel Prince). BookCon is basically a YA readers dream come true. BookCon 2020 is happening on 30th-31st May this year.

Clunes Book Town Festival, Victoria, Australia

Clunes is a small rural town in Victoria on the East coast of Australia, and every year they hold the Clunes Book Town Festival, which is packed with author talks, panel discussions, literary experiences, and masses of new, second-hand and rare book stalls. It runs over two days, the first weekend in May, and attracts around 15,000 people to what is a town of around 1,700 people for the rest of the year. Get your fix of small-town atmosphere with your massive dose of bookish glee, or if you don’t fancy fighting the crowds, they also hold one-off events on weekends through the year, such as author talks and book signings.

Drag Queen Story Hour at Rabble Books & Games, Perth, Australia

This list wouldn’t be complete without at least one Perth bookish experience! This one is for kids and adults alike, and has proved massively popular here in Perth. Rabble Books & Games is a family-run bookstore that features diverse books and authors, and is the ideal place to host Drag Queen Story Hour. Local drag queens such as Perri Oxide and Moxie Heart have been recent hosts, and Rabble Books stated that an audience of 70 people attended Perri’s reading! Check out @rabblebooks on Instagram for more information.

Tell us about your local bookish hotspot or event, ‘cos we’re always looking for new places to try!

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