(PRWEB) November 22, 2004
Not sure what to give the well-read traveler in your life this holiday season? Try the how-to guide that has single-handedly popularized a new travel niche for booklovers: "Bookstore Tourism: The Book Addict's Guide to Planning & Promoting Bookstore Road Trips for Bibliophiles & Other Bookshop Junkies."
The book's author, Larry Portzline, came up with the Bookstore Tourism concept when he led six "wildly successful" bookstore trips to New York City and Washington, DC for two Pennsylvania colleges between July 2003 and June 2004. Portzline decided to write a how-to based on his experience and encourage booklovers around the country to get on board by planning similar excursions of their own. The guide tells readers how to plan bookstore trips with their friends, schools, libraries or local organizations.
"It doesn't matter if it's five friends in a minivan or 50 people on a bus," Portzline says. "It's a lot of fun, it promotes reading and literacy, and it gives booklovers a chance to visit cities and towns with interesting, unique bookstores that they may not otherwise get to visit."
The obvious goal of the project is to promote and support independent bookshops by marketing them as a tourist destination, Portzline says. Many small and specialty bookstores are fighting to stay open because of stiff competition from the "mega-chains" and online booksellers, "so bringing busloads of booklovers through the front door is one way to reverse that trend," he explains.
"Word about the concept is really spreading," says Portzline. "Booklovers and travel fanatics are responding in a very positive way."
The author notes that individual communities with a concentration of bookshops or with a noteworthy literary history can also use Bookstore Tourism as an economic development tool. Portzline's book touches on this idea and dozens more that are geared to putting independent bookstores back on the map, and putting books back into the hands of those who've dropped the reading habit.
The Chicago Tribune said Portzline's book "might be just the thing to get people not only reading again but visiting their local independents. Spread the word." The Boston Globe said, "Larry Portzline has taken a novel idea on the road." USA Today called the idea "a charming alternative" when it selected Portzline's website, BookstoreTourism.com, as a "hot site" in May. Publishers Weekly said it "might be the beginning of a new concept in bookselling."
"Bookstore Tourism," published by Bookshop Junkie Press, is available at bookstores across the U.S. It retails for just $10 and makes "a great stocking-stuffer this holiday season," according to Portzline.
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