Thursday, July 12, 2012

On bookish souvenirs and foreign YA covers in Montreal!

Last week, I took a roadtrip to Montreal, and of course I needed to check out a local bookstore! Pre-vacation research* led me to Librarie Renaud-Bray, which had a pretty big YA section.

When I got there, I was looking for French-language versions of my favorite YA titles. Most had the same cover (and even title) as their U.S. counterparts, but here were my favorite foreign finds:

(LOVE these illustrated covers!)

(aka "The Theorem of Katherines," which also works!)

("Four Girls and One Pair of Jeans" loses a bit in translation)


Table o' YA!

The YA section!
They had it separated between French- and English-language books.

And of course, I had to come home with a foreign souvenir!

During my first trip abroad in 2005, I bought a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in a Waterstone's in London, mostly for the original British title (and for words like "jumper" instead of "sweater"), but also for the different cover.
My British copy's cover!
In Montreal, I decided that I would build a complete international set of the Harry Potter series, so my Canadian purchase was a French-language version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets!

My Canadian cover's copy!

(I speak zero French and am clueless about pronunciation, so if I ever want to entertain myself, I can always try reading it aloud.)

Anyway, I'm nerdily ecstatic to buy books from this series all around the world. They will sit happily on my bookshelves with my set of U.S. hardcovers and set of HP audiobooks.

My next planned destination is Australia, so maybe I'll pick up this ominous version of Prisoner of Azkaban I saw online, which is actually marketed toward adults!

This cover is all "dun dun DUNNNN."

Besides collecting international copies of Harry Potter books, I always get a magnet for each new city I visit. When I was a kid, my neighbors had a magnet from every U.S. state on the side of their fridge, and I loved it.

I promised myself that, when I grew up, I'd have as impressive of a collection — but mine would be from around the world. (At the time, I'd barely left my home state and had never been on a plane, but I always had a travel bug!) I started in London at age 18 and have been gathering magnets since, and one of my favorite moments of moving into my first home was putting them on the side of my fridge.

Ok, now that I geeked out, it's your turn. What's your must-buy souvenir? And what book would you want a copy of in every language? Leave it in the comments!

* I'm obsessed with researching new places before I travel to them. When I retire, I want to work part-time as a travel agent. For Montreal, I got tech-happy and created a Google map of all the locations I wanted to visit. (I admit, I out-geeked myself with that one.) On the upside, I found somewhere that served heavenly poutine and had drinks at a fantastic brew pub.


  1. Donna- that is the coolest collection I've ever seen! I love that you geek it and research where you're going. I don't have an epic souvenir collection or anything like that-but whenever I travel, I like to try and eat whatever the local/traditional foods are in that area. Sometimes this is a good thing, other times, ugh, not so much. But I always try.

    PS: I would like a copy of The Hobbit in every language possible. I think it would be a trip to see how Tolkein translates!

    1. Thanks! Poutine was the local food to eat in Montreal, and it was FANTASTIC. Seriously, I waddled out of that restaurant, I was so full.

      The Hobbit is a great book to collect internationally! You should start one!

  2. Love it! Super nerd that I am---I own a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Latin.

    1. So fancy! I actually really want to get a Spanish-language HP, because that's one I can actually read!

  3. Since I'm from Montreal and I see an abundance of French books...I really appreciated the enthusiasm! You guys look so excited! Amazing. Good for you. Nice post.

    1. Yay, Montreal! I wish I spoke French so that I could actually (attempt to) read a French-language book, but alas, I took Spanish in high school.

  4. Now I want to start a collection of foreign language books! The only other language I can (kind of) read is French, so maybe I'll start there. I actually collect shot glasses - my friends bring them back for me from whichever exotic locations they visit, so my collection is growing quite nicely :)

    1. You should! I can't wait to get a book in Spanish... I might have a chance of reading it, assuming I remember what I learned in high school. Shot glasses are fun to collect — I did for awhile, but then I decided to just stick with magnets.


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