What, exactly, is a book town? According to this delightful bibliophilic guide, it's "a small town, usually rural and scenic, full of bookshops and book-related industries…[designed to] encourage sustainable tourism and help regenerate communities.
" In a word? Paradise! Avid readers will relish this lovely photographic tour of more than forty book towns around the world, including Ascona, Switzerland, where author readings during the annual literary festival are translated into German, French, and Italian; the tiny Tuscan village of Montereggio, once famous for its itinerant booksellers, where books line the city walls; Minnesota's Stillwater and Minneapolis, America's first book town and the nation's Most Literate City, respectively; Richmond, South Africa, located in the "semi-desert wilderness
" between Cape Town and Johannesburg; and Tokyo, Japan's Jimbocho, home to the world's largest secondhand book market. Bon voyage! (KG)