Check It Out: 'Book Lust' an adventure in travel

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Ah, summer — time to hit the road and see the sights. Nice weather and long days do something to the human brain, turning homebodies into adventure-seekers. The urge to explore can surely be traced to our caveman days when good weather and longer days meant better hunting and more time to venture afield. While "wanderlust" may not be an appropriate description for prehistoric peregrination, I can't help but think that even paleo-humans wondered, "What's on the other side of that hill?"

Sometimes, though, experiencing the "other side of that hill" doesn't have to mean loading up the car with suitcases, diaper bags and Fido or standing in a mile-long security line at the airport. Visiting other locales by means of the written word is another way to discover what lies outside of your door.

Nancy Pearl, the author of ""Book Lust to Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers" — as well as "Book Lust," "More Book Lust" and "Book Crush" — is probably the perfect advocate for virtual travel. "I am not an enthusiastic traveler," she admits in the first sentence of the book. But, she loves reading about travel, and when this love is combined with her passion for sharing good books, it makes for a delightful read.

Her writing is appealing enough that you can easily read the book from cover to cover; or, if you prefer, dip in here and there. A handy geographical index is provided at the front of the book. More than 120 destinations are included, so it really is possible to feel like a virtual world traveler.

My only quibble is that the Pacific Northwest doesn't receive much attention; but she does mention that even as the book was going to press, she couldn't stop reading and writing about travel books. So, perhaps a "Book Lust to Go … and Go" is in the works. If not, this one will do just fine. Even a caveman would have to agree that cave floor (aka armchair) travel makes "cave sweet cave" look pretty darn good.

Jan Johnston is the Collection Development Coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at readingforfun@fvrl.org.