Has a book ever transported you to another location? I can without a doubt say that I have traveled many places without ever leaving home. Books have also given me the desire to visit places I may have never known existed without reading about them. The first place I was ever inspired to research visiting was Prince Edward Island, Canada. The wander lust for this small island in a large country was inspired by reading the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery. The Canadian classic, published in 1908, follows the life of a young, red-headed orphan girl that no one seems to want until by mistake she lands in the home of an older brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla, in need of adopting a boy to help with chores. To the surprise of almost everyone, she may be just what they needed in their lives. Her imagination and vanity get her into scrapes and embarrassing situations. Her fondness for the elaborate and that same imagination are what rescues her from the total humiliation and from diving into the “depths of despair” created by these happenstances.
From the moment you are introduced to the quirky Anne, you are transported to a place of immense beauty. Anne describes the places she sees with such imagination that you follow her journey from the train station to the siblings’ home at Green Gables in Avonlea quite well. In her lake of shining waters, you can see your crystal-clear reflection smiling back at you and in the cherry tree she imagined would be a great place to spend the night, you can smell the fragrant flowers. Though the story is fiction, the places are very much real.
On the Prince Edward Island tourism website, you will find a whole category dedicated to visiting haunts and locations mentioned in L.M. Montgomery’s popular series. You can visit the museum dedicated to Anne and have a spot of tea or visit the home that inspired the author and won Anne’s heart -and mine too! You can even take a carriage ride past the Lake of Shining Waters just as Anne did with Matthew. Of course there are plenty of other activities and beautiful places to see around the island known for delicious food. Books like The Great Canadian Bucket List, Atlantic Provinces & Québec: New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Fodor’s Nova Scotia & Atlantic Canada are available in the Heartland Library Cooperative System and can help you plan that perfect, straight from the book vacation.
If traveling by train, plane, bus, or car is not in your near future; without ever leaving the comfort of your couch or getting out of your pajamas, you can see this picture-perfect island. Just make a stop at the public library on your way home and borrow one of our many copies of Anne of Green Gables. You can even grab the DVD to watch after you’ve finished the book. Don’t feel like jumping out the car after a long, hard day? Never fear, Overdrive is here. You can borrow Anne of Green Gables (and the rest of the series) in e-book and audiobook formats on Overdrive. Of course, if Prince Edward Island isn’t where your mind wants to wander, there are PLENTY of other books available at your closest library and from home through Overdrive and Axis 360. Just visit www.myhlc.org to find the perfect place to travel through words.