Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Department of Serendipity...

My reading interests suffer from "Magpie" syndrome--that is, I am always acquiring bright and shiny objects for my reading list. I believe that I could go to any random shelf of books within the Library's collection and find something of interest that demands to be read. Hence the birth of a new blog post feature, "The Department of Serendipity."

First up is this book that I spotted today:

Route 66 A.D. : On the Trail of Ancient Roman Tourists, by Tony Perrottet. I think history and travel lovers alike are going to love this combination of interests as the author and his then girlfriend go on one last travel adventure prior to settling down and starting their family. One of the lesser known accomplishments of ancient Roman society was the creation of tourism, and Perrottet, having found the world's oldest surviving travel guidebook at the New York Public Library, is inspired to tour like the ancient Romans did. I love the idea that they took along a reproduction of a second-century highway map on a 20-foot-long scroll, as well as many ancient travel texts, as they make their journey, and learn that crowds, inadequate accommodations, bad food, and pushy tourist guides are not new concepts--they actually trace their origins back to the ancient Romans.

I will post other books (or music/movies/etc.) spotted with my serendipitous "Magpie" eye from time to time. I might not get around to reading them, but maybe you can--and report back to the Library whether the reading was enjoyable!

Have you ever had a moment of serendipity amongst the book shelves and randomly found something wonderful to read? Please leave a comment and let us know!

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