Dylan Taylor-Lehman doesn't do things the conventional way. The 29-year-old blogger behind The Yawning Chasm left Columbus recently to travel the continental U.S. for his book on alternative libraries and the towns they inhabit. During his round-trip excursion to California, Taylor-Lehman plans to check out New Mexico's ufology library, an Amazon warehouse and a bookstore in Las Vegas where nothing is cheaper than $5,000. Alive caught the aspiring author before his departure to pick his brain for his other sources of enjoyment and travel necessities.

Franz Kafka

I have a portrait of him tattooed on my bicep, and Iíve gone to his birthplace. His writing is strange and somewhat surreal. One of my favorite [Kafka] stories is about a teacher who finds a giant mole and how the people react to it (ďThe Village SchoolmasterĒ). On my trip, I wanted to go to California because of a professor who is writing a biography about [Kafkaís] last lover.

Jonathan Kellerman books on tape

I tend to like corny detective novels because they donít require a lot of mental investment. My secret love is for Jonathan Kellerman novels and his Dr. Delaware character. Iíve found myself coming back to those books once or twice a year for the last eight years.

Cheap Asian eats

Yauís on 8th and High has been my go-to spot forever. Iíve also been kind of into Bibibop in Grandview lately. I didnít even know bibimbap existed until a couple of weeks ago, but itís really good and for $6 you can get unbelievably full.


Itís basically a website where people tell you that you can crash at their place. You can get feedback and reviews about different people offering their places, so there is some accountability. There are a lot of cities offered on the site, but Iíll have to do some camping on my trip because Iíll be in a lot of obscure places.

Used instruments

Iíve had the same drums for probably 15 years. They look well-worn. I donít even know what brand they are. Same goes for my guitar ó itís a great guitar thatís technically not even mine.