There are several books of literature that will excite soon-to-be visitors of Asheville and give them a good perspective of the feel of the city. Sheltered by the Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounded by verdant greens and flowers, Asheville has attracted and inspired some great American authors. Born at 92 Woodfin Street in Asheville, Thomas Wolfe is perhaps the city's most famous literary figure. Thomas Wolfe’s mother owned a boardinghouse in Asheville, which is now known as the Thomas Wolfe Memorial. Wolfe, meanwhile, has become one of literature's most famous men. Wolfe immortalized the sprawling Victorian structure as "Dixieland" in his epic autobiographical novel, Look Homeward, Angel. Visitors may get a kick out of reading this before setting foot on Thomas Wolfe’s Dixieland in person. It provides interesting perspective, considering Wolfe was not always complementary about his hometown.

Another famous author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night, was well-known in Asheville for his womanizing ways and heavy-drinking, when he came to visit his ill wife who was treated at Highland Hospital in Asheville.

Another North Carolina native, O. Henry, (remember that chocolate bar?) was a famous author in Asheville in the early 1900s. Born in Greensboro, N.C., O. Henry married Asheville native and second wife Sarah Coleman, a well-known Asheville socialite. O. Henry wrote several books such as the Cabbages and Kings, The Four Million, and The Gentle Grafter. Any of these books can provide a good read before or during a trip to Asheville.