It shouldn’t have been a surprise, but I was delighted to find such a big reading culture on Bali last week. Could have known better of course, since every other expat seemed to be either a nutritionist/yogi or an (aspired) writer/journalist:). And to be honest, I can’t deny that it’s the perfect island to do a writing project. Costs of living are low and the whole island is a pretty inspiring place.
Obviously I checked out every bookshop that we came across. What made me smile was the big section of self-published books in every store on Balinese culture, food, expat-life etc, written by talented of just very enthusiastic travelers who settled down in Bali.
It’s amazing that a tiny island like Bali has two major book festivals during the year: the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival and Bali Emerging Writers Festival (which is starting next week). And Ubud even has it’s own Les Deux Magots; Cafe Luna is starting to get it’s own reputation as rendezvous of the literary and intellectual élite of Bali. Loved it!!