A few of my book nerd friends and I like to share pictures of gorgeous libraries, studies, and writing spaces from around the world. We sigh and swoon over every carved staircase and velvet curtain. Nothing lives up to the library from Beauty and the Beast, of course, but that doesn't stop our dream of visiting — or even owning — those bookish locations. Now, thanks to Airbnb's literary destinations, we can.
Even if you haven't used Airbnb, you've certainly heard the name. It's the Internet middleman that allows everyday folks to open up their homes to strangers for short-term living arrangements. Some people rent out entire houses or apartments, while others have only a room or two available.
Despite the understandable misgivings of many, Airbnb has been an overwhelming success. Because both hosts and guests can leave reviews, no one needs to worry about hosting — or being hosted by — an axe murderer. And because Airbnbs do not often offer all the amenities you'd expect at a Hilton or Holiday Inn, travelers can find lodgings in the hearts of major cities for half the price of traditional hotels.
If you're planning a book nerd getaway this year, check out the nine literary Airbnbs listed below before you pay for a hotel.
According to The Open Book's Airbnb listing, Wigtown is "Scotland's National Book Town," sporting 10 bookstores to 1,000 residents. When you stay here, you get to run the non-profit bookshop, if you want. You'll have a laptop and free WiFi, adorable lodgings, and two bicycles to explore this town by the sea — all for only $39 a night!
This writer's retreat on the California coast is perfect for anyone looking for a distraction-free vacation. Run by the Wellness Center, the Library House offers plenty of natural lighting, a well-stocked library, pool and hot tub access, an outdoor kitchen, citrus trees, domestic goats, and more for $95 a night.
If your idea of a book nerd getaway involves tropical sunshine and plenty of beach time, check out the Library Room in Miami. Owner Maria Luisa appears to be a very involved host, and she'll show you around Miami for an added fee. Since the Library Room is only $50 per night, that's not a bad deal.
Owners Adrienne Parks-Bowman and Bill Bowman are a novelist and filmmaker who have elected to open up three rooms of their New Orleans home to guests. The Library is obviously where you want to be, and for just $115 per night, it can be yours.
This lovely and quiet Airbnb destination offers rooftop lounging with great views of the sea. If you're planning a Mediterranean vacation, don't let this one slip by you. It's only $124 a night for a little piece of quiet comfort.
Owned by a couple with a young son, the "Stylish Room w/ Fireplace & Library" lies at the heart of a beautiful apartment in Wiesbaden. Reading material and firewood are provided by the owners, who only ask that you treat their home with the same respect as you would a friend's. For just $43 per night, this one's a steal.
This adorable, bookish loft is only 15 minutes away from the Monticello Wine Trail and Carter Mountain Orchard. Good drinks and fresh apples are yours when you stay at this cozy Airbnb hosted by folk music duo Lowland Hum. And the $83 a night lodging fee is tough to beat.
For a truly literary vacation, it doesn't get much better than John Steinbeck's Writer's Studio. Steinbeck wrote The Sea of Cortez and other stories when he owned the place in the early 1940s. From fall to spring, Pacific Grove is the winter home of the migrating Monarch butterflies. For $175 per night, you can bask in literary greatness and see the pretty fliers for yourself.
If you want to take your whole book club on vacation, this Airbnb sleeps seven. A measly $67 per night gets you the three-story apartment in Lisbon's scenic historic district. The host is a novelist and journalist, and he's available nearby for information and assistance, should you need it.
Images: Courtesy of Airbnb (9)