Tine Lind and Jakob Vesteergard fell in love with slow travel and decided to alter their regular lives to create their own independent publisher, A Book From Lind. Their ‘Small Wonders,’ series of foldout travel guides reflect their new lives, where things are offline and at their own pace. We had a chance to talk to Jakob to ask him some questions about their publisher, their guides, and Istanbul.
1. Why did you decide to quit your jobs and sell your house to start your own publisher?
When you say it like that, it kind of sound like a crazy idea and perhaps it is, but we wanted something different than the usual busy, hectic and basically way too materialistic career-minded life that most people strive for. We wanted a life more free. A life more slow. A life where we could decide what to do and when.
After almost ten years of working for other people we realized that we were not really content with our lives. We have two wonderful children that we really wanted to spend time with rather than putting them in public daycare all day and making money to pay off a ridiculously large mortgage.
We wanted our lives filled with truly creative work – editing and designing – which is also a good combo of our skills. Tine is an art historian and graphic designer and I’ve worked as a travel editor for two Danish newspapers.
2. What's the story behind the name "A Book From Lind"?
We love books and kind of think it sounds a bit poetic. We associate books with slow living and being in the now. You really can’t check your email or do a thousand other things while reading a book – well, not if it’s a good book anyway. And we also wanted to stress that we do things in print; the old-fashioned way.
3. You've been publishing small foldable city guides that focus on a few handpicked places by locals. How did you come up with this idea?
When we quit our jobs, we moved to Rome for a period and found out that none of the existing travel guides really did the job for us. The places we loved – the small, local and some of them kind of quirky – were hard to find. That’s why we decided to do the small wonders guides!
4. You really like to go about things the old fashioned way. Can you talk about your love for slow travel?
We literally had our last workday Friday, moved out of the house Saturday and flew to Rome on Sunday. And then, we had a long period of time with both our cellphones shut off, which was such bliss! We really want to give others that same opportunity by creating a small, handy and clean map to navigate the city completely offline.
We really want to encourage people to walk around the city on their own pace. That’s why our city maps are focused on just a few central neighbourhoods and not the entire city. We love getting to know the spirit of just one neighbourhood instead of just rushing from sight to sight.
So, for us slow travel is about really getting to know a place on your pace. And independently.
5. How did you go about choosing the locals who prepared the guides for each city and what qualities were you looking for?
We wanted someone who loves small unusual places just as much as ourselves. Someone who’d much rather visit a quirky local bar than stand in line by a major attraction. So, that’s really much more difficult than creating a guide of top sights and the authors really need to know their city well. They all have this eye for the unusual, creative and local. And they all have this special tone of voice – passionate, vivid and opinionated – that’s what makes the text an experience to read in itself.
6.You've published guides for Rome, Paris, Berlin and Istanbul. What's coming up in the future?
In a month’s time, we'll publish Small wonders of Barcelona with a pretty cool Spanish-Danish journalist who is born in Barcelona and has lived there on and off for several years. He knows the city really well – especially the less famous tapas bars and chill places to hang out with the locals. We're also working on Small wonders of Copenhagen and these days we're eating our way through some of the best of the new Nordic restaurants, while trying to find a few good places that are not overly expensive. Not as easy as you might think.
7. Let's talk a little about Istanbul. Why did you decide to create a guide for Istanbul and how did you go about choosing the right neighborhoods and venues?
The process of choosing the neighbourhoods and venues was actually quite long and involved quite a bit of research by the author. We wanted central neighbourhoods for our guides, but also at least one that is up and coming, or more residential, as all of the ‘small wonders’ mentioned in the new guides are local places and not places tourists normally go.
We want a certain mix of places in each guide – interesting architecture, modern art, urban design, new takes on regional cuisine and truly local places to meet the young, creative people of the city. And then, what guides our discussions with the authors is simply – is this a ‘small wonder’, an unusual and local place?
Istanbul is a city on the rise creatively, much like Copenhagen. While Copenhagen has modern food, Istanbul has the arts, and what happens in modern art and design right now is very interesting and unique in Europe. There are so many great galleries and small designer brands and that is some of the things we love about travelling to new cities: To discover the local art and design scene.
For more information about A Book from Lind visit their website and check out the Small wonders of Rome, Paris, Berlin and Istanbul, for sale online.