A-Z activities

A-Z countries

What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog begun in 2012 about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.

I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps.

Around 2018 I tried a new way of writing my family's and my own UK travel adventures. Britain is a brilliant place for a staycation, mini-break and day trips. It's also a fantastic place to explore so I've begun to write up reports of places that are easy to reach by public transport. And when they are not that easy to reach I'll offer some tips on how to get there.

See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

When you want a book

Swap a book on platform 2 at Bath Spa train station.
This blog is about family travel around the world without leaving the UK. Impossible? No. This post locates a book swap at Bath Spa train station and then visits a library that looks like part of Stonehenge - in Colombia.  Words from Nicola Baird (see www.nicolabaird.com for more info about my books and blogs).   

One of the problems with travelling light is how to include books. Everyone in my family reads too fast which means we either stagger around with bags of books or have that uncomfortable feeling that we may not have brought enough reading matter.  Having a kindle has helped. But not as much as you might think - especially if a queue starts forming for whose turn it is.  My new phone has helped too - it came ready loaded with three classics so until Treasure Island, Alice in Wonderland and Three Musketeers are finished off I can at least guarantee to have a book for 11-year-old Nell.

Of course you can swap books at places (though not nearly enough places, and this is utterly no good if you've already read Dan Brown). It was a great thrill to be on Bath Spa station recently and find a coffee shop (Dashi Sushi) selling a few newspapers along with snacks; plus a bookshelf designed for readers to pass on what they'd read and pick up a new title. That's a fantastic idea.

Which made me think about libraries - many are hard to use if you are in a place for just a short time, and fair point as new users might not be good at returning books. Some libraries around the world - just look here if you want to see what I mean - are far more than just book stores. They are the coolest places to visit boasting fabulous architecture. There's even one on a hilltop in Medellin, Colombia that from a distance looks like three giant rocks (see pic above). Up close it's more obvious that it's a building. More about this building and how it hopes to help stop drug related crime here. Picture credit here.

Another option is book crossing, or plain old swapping. Just make sure you leave the book in a place that someone is likely to find it. Bus and coach stations are obvious. So are places travellers and tourists stay. It's not just generous of course, it's also a way to lighten your bags...

Over to you
Where's your favourite place to find a new-to-you read?


Karin said...

Nicola, we can join anyone as a visitor. They may need some ID, but not proof of address. I think this is because of an edict by some minister, possibly in the last Labour govt a few years ago, so I think you should be able to join any library in England, and possibly the UK, as a visitor these days.

Nicola Baird said...

Hi Karin, clearly my mistake. But also very encouraging. Thank you! Nicola