On finding books while travelling: The Great Literary Hunt


I’m not particularly set on being normal. In fact, I believe it is just an overestimated adjective. And I know for a fact that a lot of other bookworms (sorry, I meant book dragons!) agree with me.

But why am I telling you this?

You know how some people go travelling and buy little souvenirs? Probably some postcards, fridge magnets, things like that? Some others buy more expensive things, like jewellery, clothing, paintings. Well, I so happen to buy different kinds of souvenirs. I think you have already guessed where I’m going with this. Yes. Books!

The Great Literary Hunt

My friends think I’m weird. (Now that I think about it, I should probably have that printed on a t-shirt). “What kind of person goes on a trip and buys books?”, they ask. The answer, of course, is the Great Book Dragons (yes, you are one too, and you know it!).

I don’t mean  that I just go buy a book that I could have found back home, though. It wouldn’t make a lot of sense, would it? I do buy, however, a book that I might not normally find in a Greek bookstore, one that I’d probably have to order online.

A happy traveler and her newly found treasure

In 2016, on a trip to Stockholm, my husband and I bumped into a secondhand store. I discovered some very cheap books (oooh!shiny!) , five in total. Come on, be honest: you wouldn’t have left them behind! And neither did I.

Other interesting types of books can be found in museum gift shops. Oh, the heaven of a well organised book section in a museum gift shop! I found the best so far in Florence, in Galleria Uffizi. That’s where my copy of The Medici Curse comes from (there’s a full review of that book in the blog).

It’s not always a common book, though. Sometimes you’ll find a rarer gem, and then the real excitement begins!Your heart just started beating a little faster, didn’t it?

Sighisoara, Romania, July 2017

bibliophilegrOur last summer trip was in Transylvania. It had been our third day there, visiting a very beautiful, small town with a medieval center, mostly known as the birthplace of Vlad III ( the inspiration for Stoker’s Dracula). It was noon, and incredibly hot. We decided to get into a small, local cafe and cool ourselves with some ice coffee.

And that’s where I spotted it.

My little gem. My small treasure. Upon a bookshelf, lay a book published in Romanian, German and English: The Treasure Book of Sighisoara.

The treasure Book of Sighisoara

bibliophilegrFunded by the town of Sighisoara, the book is a tribute to the town. It was written by local historians and experts, and shows the history of the town through the ages. From prehistoric settlements to the 21st century, all parts recorded in history are there. It is also articulately and beautifully illustrated. Well written, it is an absolute piece of art. A book that is not easily found online either, let alone in any other country’s bookshop.


So, there you have it. Finding new books is always a joy. However, stumbling upon rare gems of the literary world is even better. Experiencing that while travelling is an absolutely astounding experience. Never mind what the “normal” people buy while travelling. Go ahead, buy that book. Let your little bookworm heart leap with joy! And if you’re genuinely fond of the magnets, sure, buy them as well.

The point is that you can discover amazing little treasures while travelling. You do you. And if that means a literary hunt, go ahead and just do it!

P.S. Remember to show us all what you found. The second best thing to finding it yourself, is for other bibliophiles to show you what they have found on their own book hunts!


Evil Librarian : (thankfully) not another classic supernatural story

Evil Librarian

A normal town, a normal school, normal lives…right?

Cynthia and her best friend, Annie, are high school students. A normal town, a normal school, normal lives. Until the day there are some very exciting news: there’s a new librarian in school! Cynthia expects to see a bald, middle-aged man with glasses. Except this one is different. The new librarian is young, handsome and incredibly charming. But, soon enough, Cynthia’s friend seems to get more than a little transfixed with him, and she is not the only one. Something strange seems to be happening in the school, and Cynthia is determined to find what evil forces hide behind the charming face of Mr Gabriel.

“You’re not human”, he says.

He begins to laugh. Then he stops laughing and winks at us.

“Strangely, the job description did not specify that as a requirement”.


bibliophile.grA hilarious story, Evil Librarian is smart and exciting to read. At last, a fiction book with supernatural creatures that doesn’t take itself way too seriously! There are lots of books out there were the weight of the world weighs upon the hero’s shoulders – and it’s not necessarily bad. But sometimes readers just need something with a lighter tone, and more humor.

Michelle Knudsen manages to find the perfect balance between action, romance and humor. There were a lot of points through the story where I cracked up laughing. Especially when it came to Cynthia’s thoughts.

Finally! A unique, strong heroine

The story is written through the heroine’s perspective in its entirety. We find out a lot about her friendships, ambitions, and – let us not forget- her crush. The highlight of her character, however,  is her cleverness, and her determination to save the people she cares about.  No more naive heroines who blindly do what they’re told. Here’s a smart young woman taking charge!


Should you read this?

I cannot stress enough how much you will enjoy this. All in all, I have to admit that I bought this book half expecting I would either get bored of it or it would be ridiculously straight forward in its plot. I am happy to inform you that I was proven wrong. I found a genuine plot, laughter up until the last pages, and beautifully constructed characters. If supernatural creatures are your thing in literature, don’t miss out on giving this gem a try!



On books, readers, and finding comfort in dark times

On reading…

You’ve been there before.

There are days when you don’t really want to get out of bed. And sometimes these days come closer together. Maybe you don’t like your job. Maybe you are going through a breakup. Whether that’s a family member, a friend or a lover, it’s possible a loved one is no longer in your life . But it just might be that you are going through a rough phase. It’s alright. We’ve all been there.

When I was around 10, there was a special book I called friend of mine. Whenever I had an unpleasant day at school, or had a fight with a friend, I would curl up in my bed. I’d get A Tree Grows In Brooklyn on my lap and start reading. Boy, did I read that book a lot! There was a time in my life I could recite every line. Somehow, it made me feel better. Somewhere between getting away from the real world and getting lost in another one, I always seemed to start feeling better.

what doyoudowithanidea
“What do you do with an idea?” By Kobi Yamada

“We read to know were not alone.” C.S. Lewis

It’s not always something simple like a sad day. And books are not the ultimate remedy for everything. But starting a new story, or even revisiting an old one, has a magical way of making me feel better. I do, indeed, as C.S.Lewis wisely said, feel less alone. I meet characters that think he same way I do, feel what I feel – or maybe I feel what they feel- and, in the process, I realize that I am not alone in what I go through.

Sometimes you just need a different perspective. Sometimes you need to get away from it all and return with a clear mind and have a fresh start. Other times all you need is to feel that someone else has been there before, and things might just not be as bad as you imagine them to be.

For some people, music does the trick. For some others, books do the job. Whatever the reason, pick up the book. Get lost in another world. Give it a try – the possibilities are endless.

Remember that somewhere out there, there is another reader going through a rough phase. Somewhere out there, a writer has put in paper what you feel, has made a story out of what you happen to be going through. And maybe, just maybe, they have something to say that will help you go through it.

Reading companions are always a big help. Sirius the cat

If all else fails, connect with the readers

Remember that readers are usually highly empathetic people. When you read, you tend to see other people’s perspectives, which also helps respect different reactions and feelings. If you find the need to connect more, keep in mind that literature is not just about the books .

This is the bookstagram post that lead to a wonderful conversation
On books and readers…

A while back I asked the Bookstagram community about reading. I felt down, and sad, and a bit frozen in place, as if my life was moving no more forward to the point I wanted it too.  So, I reached for fellow readers and asked one simple question: “Why do you read?”. I was surprised to find some incredibly beautiful answers:

“I read because I like reading (it) relaxes me. It takes me to world in certain books. That the stories are interesting because I get a glimpse into another person’s life.” – @bookwormbelle27

“I read because it allows me to live a thousand lives. It allows me to see the world through different perspectives. To travel in time and distance. I read because its part of my life. Can’t imagine my life without books.” – @moodforbooks

“I read because sometimes this world is too much….” – @ a.mind.needs.books

“It is such a stress reliever and re-energizer!” – @notes_of_a_book_dragon

“I read so I can take a break from being me” – @popsicle_doodles917

“…to take a break from reality. […] And sometimes books actually make me appreciate what I have now, and teach me not to take some things for granted”. – @alinasreadingcorner

“I read to escape reality for a while” – @welshbookdragons

And my absolute favorite:

“For me reading had always been a promise. The promise of adventure and love, that even ordinary me could be special in another world or for another someone. It was the promise that even the saddest stories can have a happy ending. Reading was me living a life both better and worse than mine. Nowadays I read to be enchanted, to be in another world, to feel when I don’t wan t to feel my own emotions. To cry for another so I won’t have to cry for me. To be touched or angry or sad.” – @Booksofhopeanddreams


It’s all in the community.

I always say that readers are the introverts you want in your life. They listen, they (at least try to) understand, they empathize. Should you find yourself in a hard time, should you need a person to talk to, find a fellow reader. Talk and be heard. Listen to what they have to say. You might just find what you need in order to get through your hard times.

Footnote: A very big thank you to all the bookworms that took part in sharing their reasons for reading with me. You can find these wonderful people on instagram and follow their bookish stories.