ABSTRACT. Wilbur Zelinsky has spent his spectacular scholarly career enhancing our understanding of American life through explorations into the nation's cultural geography. Although he has illuminated grand themes, he is also celebrated for his eclectic work on the geography of Americana. Few, however, may appreciate his lifelong enjoyment of American literature. Early in my scholarly journey, Wilbur encouraged my awakening interest in reading widely, beyond the boundaries of professional literature. Conversations with him about shared literary enthusiasms affirmed my reading proclivities. From classic novels to those of minor authors, commentary by journalists, biographies, and mass-market fiction, literature offers provocative insights into American life and landscape. Reading widely takes one in unforeseen professional directions and yields unexpected rewards. Wilbur's sheer delight with the phenomena of the American scene, however seemingly trivial, instructs us to not overlook their possible geographical significance.