Oh, MAN. This is like the greatest question I have ever gotten.
So first of all, because I love the ocean, Bookingham is an island. The climate is temperate, Mediterranean, the terrain hilly and rocky and studded with springs and olive groves. At the peak of the island, if you will, is the Library, Panverborum, place of all words. It’s a glittering paragon of neoclassical architecture. Of course it also serves at the Bookingham seat of government (i.e., my house, duh), but first and foremost, it’s a library. The whole place is stuffed floor to ceiling with books and plays and folios, and comfortable couches and armchairs and floor pillows and fireplaces and reading nooks. Below ground is the most glorious wine cellar the world has ever seen.
Now, arranged in concentric rings around the library are narrow cobbled streets, with little bookshops and print shops and tea rooms and wine bars and what have you all crammed together on each side. Most of the proprietors—that is to say, the citizens—live above the shops in modest but comfortable dwellings, windows always open to welcome in a breeze, profusions of flowers spilling out of window boxes. Pets are, of course, welcome, and it’s not uncommon to see a cat leap out of one window, scurry along a wall, and be welcomed in through another.
The farther you go down toward the shore, the farther apart the buildings are and the denser the trees get. Of course you can find statues and fountains and streams and at least one sprawling ampitheatre in the Greek style. Now, since Bookingham is a paper-and-ink economy and nobody can live on olives and wine alone (though some of us have tried and not been totally disappointed) the harbor is a busy place. We get all sorts, traders, sailors, pirates, you name it, but so long as they’re willing to abide by our laws—read books, be merry, don’t be a dick—they’re welcome to come and stay as long as they like. It’s not uncommon for them to jump ship and settle down permanently. But the ones who don’t bring goods we need and news of the outside world as well, and tell stories to eager listeners who likely as not will write their tales down and have them printed and hand them a book of their very own stories the next time they make port.
All in all it’s a pretty great place. Who wants to move here?