Bill Bryson is an author who writes in a very descriptive manner about travel and walking. His books reflect British lives, quoting “somebody had to”, in his 1989 travel book The Lost Continent. His writes about where he lives in a graphical way, taking different views about places. His hometown Des Moines, he described in two different ways in two of his books, The Life and Times of Thunderbolt Kid he writes in Contrast to The Lost Continent, very fondly of his hometown, regretting decisions to wanting to get out whilst growing up.
“I didn’t look at the good side of American life. People from Iowa are basically very decent, kind and wholesome, and I kind of neglected that in making fun of them for being rural and out of touch. In hindsight I realise I was lucky to grow up there and then. But I still spent the first 20 years of my life wanting to get out. I resented that I had to grow up in cornfields. I wanted to be in Chicago or New York or Paris, where the lights were bright and something was happening. I felt very hard done by and it was only years later that I could appreciate that the place has a real beauty, albeit it one that might escape most people.”
What he mentions about the idea of him regretting the luxury of his hometown is important to note. I love the concept in what he writes and how he describes places in his books. The details in his ideas of exploring is important to note as a point of reference when I think about my project; I want to be able to take in everything, no matter where I am, and find something interesting and inspire people to want to take a look themselves.
He makes an interesting point about how we look after things more when we are poorer. He points out how he “really, really hates this age of austerity. This is the sixth richest country in the world. We can afford to have things. When I first came here this country was much poorer, but much better looked after.” this thought of wanting to preserve things that may not be expensive and look cheap, but they could contain more sentimental value than something that would cost a lot of money because it is sentimental.
From this, it has given me then idea of making a book that could possibly be manufactured in paper quality and a style that is more freestyle and able for anyone to carry. By having something that is not expensive or made with the highest quality, people may want to preserve it more, but they have the freedom to store it anywhere, and it does not matter if corners get creased; this is ultimately beneficial for people who wish to carry around this book, making it feel more personal than professional.