Ever opened a magazine and seen an ad for a sweepstakes . . . only to think: What's the point? I'll never win. I am here to tell you to forget that thought.

In the June 2010 issue of BookPage—the one with Justin Cronin on the cover—Knopf ran a full-page ad promoting The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, which came out in May of 2010. The ad looked something like this:

Readers were directed to enter the contest at stieglarsson.net, and this contest was promoted in many other venues (not only in the BookPage print edition and on our website).

In November, we were thrilled to learn that the winner of the contest, Laura, entered thanks to an ad in BookPage! Then we were especially thrilled when we heard that Laura is a big BookPage fan; she even persuaded her local Friends of the Library group to hand out copies of BookPage at her branch.

My co-workers and I were so happy about (and quite jealous of) Laura's trip—and that was before she sent us pictures. Just a couple weeks ago, Laura and her husband spent four nights exploring the Sweden of Lisbeth Salander. They visited both Stockholm and the outer archipelago of the city.

Laura wrote after the trip to say how beautiful Stockholm is—and her pictures don't disappoint. It is always an incredible experience to visit a new country, but when the sites you're seeing are also described in a favorite novel? Priceless.

Thank you for sharing your experience in Sweden, Laura! Have any other readers been on a fantastic vacation this summer? What about a trip with a literary bent?

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