Saint Augustine  wrote:

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”

Words that eloquently marry books and travel.

It’s that time of year, when we live vicariously through customer travel book purchases, watching them sway back and forth in front of the east wall in the café, deciding what part of the world to experience next, or perhaps which guidebook publisher to stick with or stray from. (We carry Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, DK Eyewitness, Fodors, Frommer’s, Moon, Rick Steves, and more.)

From Alaska to Zanzibar, we’ve got it – or can still get it – before it’s time to board. So far, this year’s most popular locations are the Caribbean, (Cuba in particular), Hawaii, India, and France. Closer to home but no less exotic is the consistent interest in our desert Southwest. Canyoneering and desert hiking guides plus a healthy dose of USGS topo maps are finding their way into piles on the counter. Great narratives that complement quickie jaunts to the desert include anything by Ed Abbey or Craig Childs. New to that category for us is David Feela’s “How Delicate These Arches: Footnotes from the Four Corners.” Whether leaving the valley this spring or staying put and enjoying the lack of a line at the PO, it’s also a great time to catch up on and be inspired by travel and nature writing. Current customer favorites are Bruce Chatwin, Patrick Fermor, Wade Davis, and Dervla Murphy.

Another trend in reading choices for spring that we see (and encourage!) is the bevy of authors associated with the first festival of the summer: Mountainfilm in Telluride. What a pleasure it is to shelve the chronicles of adventurers, activists, and experts in all manner of sciences that come to Telluride for the Memorial Day weekend. To get a jump on being ready for all those Q&As and Breakfast Talks, we like to pick, with Mountainfilm’s blessing, a Mountainfilm Town Read.

For 2012, we’re going with Dan Buettner’s “The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest,” a four-continent examination on the way people live and how lifestyle choices affect lifespan. It will be interesting to hear what Dan thinks about Telluriders after spending a long weekend amid fluttering prayer flags and sunny-side bench conversations. As in many years past, BTC will again partner with the Fest for The Reading Frenzy, a two-hour celebration of the written word hosted by The Peaks Resort in Mountain Village. We basically assemble a pop-up bookshop ringed by table upon table of authors for that one-on-one opportunity to “continue the conversation” with 25+ specialists. The Frenzy is open to the public. (No Festival pass required.) As festival programming jumps into high gear, the list of authors keeps growing, with a depth to match. So mark your calendars for Sunday, May 27, 2-4 p.m. Remember, personally inscribed books make great gifts for grads and dads.

Please note that with the end of the ski season upon us, BTC’s annual two-week closure mirrors the R-1 School District’s spring break schedule: April 8-22, 2012. (FYI: For those of you that were selected as World Book Night Book Givers, fear not! We’ll open up again on pick-up day: Monday, April 23, 8 a.m. More on that in the last installment of Book It! for the season on March 27.)

And before signing off for the fortnight, a reminder about the launch party for current San Miguel County Poet Laureate Ellen Metrick and her new collection of poetry “Teasing out the Divine.” That’s Friday, March 23, at 6:30 p.m. Norwood-based cover artist Cynthia Sampson will also attend.

And looking to squeeze in just one more literary event before the lifts stop churning, we’re hoping to finalize an event for Tuesday, April 3, with journalist Mark Sundeen, author of “The Man Who Quit Money,” and Daniel Suelo, the actual man who quit money. Eleven years ago, Daniel chose to give up the buck, live in a cave, forage for food, hitchhike, and blog. Some reviewers have asked whether he’s just a Utah-based free spirit or a full-on freeloader. I’m curious, aren’t you? Stay tuned … and keep reading.

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