In recent years, organized travel trips have become increasingly important parts of business for many independent bookstores around the country. While some stores have been offering tours for years, others are just beginning to experiment with taking their customers around the world, and itineraries include everything from writing retreats in Italy, literary sightseeing in the United Kingdom, and now even wildlife tours in Africa.

In just over two weeks, Rainy Day Books in Fairway, Kan., will embark on the third trip in an annual series of summer Literary Tours. Accompanied by store co-owners Roger Doeren and Vivien Jennings, 14 book lovers will visit Scotland from June 19 through July 2. Included on the trip’s itinerary are tours of Eilean Donan Castle and Balmoral Castle, stays in Glasgow, Edinburgh and the “palatial” Glenapp Castle Hotel, along with excursions to literary destinations such as the home of poet Robert Burns and a four-night stay at Edinburgh’s Balmoral Hotel, where J.K. Rowling finished writing the Harry Potter series.

Doeren and Jennings began planning their literary tours in 2013, after a lunch with longtime friend and travel consultant Lisa Ball. Rainy Day Books’ past tours have gone to England and Italy, and all were put together with the help of Lisa Ball Travel Design. Said Doeren: “We want our faithful, loyal customers from across America and around the world to enjoy discovering and experiencing the wonderful world of literacy–here, there and everywhere!”

Article: Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, June 8, 2016

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