Traveling the World? Here’s What to Read
Room to Read founder John Wood shares his favorite books on destinations around the world.
Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, John Wood recalls libraries as his “portals out of Small Town America.” In 2000, to help other children discover those same literary escapes, he left his executive position at Microsoft to found Room to Read, an organization devoted to children’s literacy and gender equality in education. Beginning in Nepal, it has since expanded to ten countries throughout Asia and Africa, and is set to launch in the Caribbean and Middle East. Along the way, Room to Read has distributed 18 million books, trained nearly 10,000 teachers and librarians, and commissioned more than 1,500 original local-language children’s books, benefitting around 10 million children. “I’d like one day to be able to say that we’ve reached 100 million kids, and brought them a world of literacy and a love of reading books.”
Rosewood has partnered with Room to Read throughout 2017 to continue its mission. In honor of Global Literacy Month in September, several Rosewood hotels and resorts are offering special programs to raise funds for the cause.
Wood’s personal passion for discovering new worlds through literature has continued unabated. “I’m still a voracious reader,” he says, tallying between 40 and 50 titles a year. “I read anywhere and everywhere I can get a free minute airplanes, subways, late night in hotel rooms after the rest of the world has gone to sleep. To me, the best part of travel books has always been that they transcend time—the reader can get a feel for a place before he visits it, gain a deeper understanding of it while there, and relive the memories
long after departure.”
Here are a few of his favorite books that give insight in destinations around the world, from pan-European adventures to New Mexico.