The Best Summer @ SJCPLS

As the school year ends and temperatures rise, vacation plans or dreams of travel expand. Whether you are planning real world adventures or using the library collection to engage in armchair travel, SJCPLS is here to help.

Start in the Dewey 910s, where we keep a large collection of travel books and DVDs. Don’t squander your costly investment in travel by skipping free checkouts of up-to-date items that will help you choose great destinations and find special sights, activities, and accommodations.

For those trips where packing light is imperative, we also have a fantastic collection of digital travel resources. You can download sections and chapters of books as PDFs to your tablet or mobile device, making them perfect for on-the-go reading. Want to be even more immersed in the culture of your destination? Check out Pronunciator, our free online resource for learning over 80 foreign languages, including Spanish, French, German, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and many more. Access both these resources at In addition, don’t forget to download a few movies, television shows, or music albums for some travelling entertainment.

If you need to journey vicariously, our Reference Librarians can also point you in the direction of many great travel writers. Try one of Bill Bryson’s books, like In a Sunburned Country, which documents funny misadventures in Australia. Paul Theroux’s long train treks will put the exotic back in your life. William Least Heat Moon meanders philosophically across backroads America in books like Blue Highways or Roads to Quoz.

Some readers prefer vicarious fictional travels. Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon mysteries follow an itinerant ranger as she finds murder at national parks across America. Paul Coelho’s The Alchemist sends a shepherd boy on a metaphysical quest guaranteed to inspire wanderlust. Visit Naples with Elena Ferrante’s wonderful Neapolitan novels, starting with My Brilliant Friend. Go into the woods with Naomi Novik’s magical Uprooted. Hunt for treasure around the globe in the adventures of James Rollins, Steve Berry, or Matthew Reilly, or simply chill out at the beach with authors like Elin Hilderbrand, Mary Alice Monroe, or Mary Kay Andrews.

Whether you’re after travel nonfiction or are looking for a book set in a favorite location, ask a SJCPLS librarian. We may be behind a desk, but we’re ready to help you hit the road!

Stay cool and enjoy your summer.

Library System Director, Debra Rhodes Gibson