Exploring the World from the Comfort of my Chair

It’s a common trope among readers to compare reading to travel. We can read about countries we cannot (or simply have not) go to in person, and learn about other cultures, customs, and ideas. Even within the canon of English literature (meaning the theoretical collection of works written in English and deemed important, classic, or worth passing down), there are books set in nearly every country! Once blogger/author that I follow once undertook a project attempting to read a book from every country, with fascinating results. This, combined with some inspiration from the last book I read (Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold), has inspired me to keep track of the places featured in the books that I read in 2018. As someone who loves adventure but who always has to plan everything out, I think it will be interesting to see all the places that I visit in books this year.

Below is the map that I will be updating with every book that I finish. I will be coloring in countries in which part of the story takes place; that is, places that the characters actually go, not just places that are mentioned or referenced. I hope to see a lot of the countries filled in by the end of the year! The more important thing, however, is not where the book is set but what the reader learns from it. Perhaps, by reading about people in vastly different places and situations, I will end up learning more about myself, my beliefs, and my world throughout this year.

How many countries I have been to. Visited Countries Map Maker
Visited 4 UN countries (2.07%) out of 193.
Make your own visited countries map.

UPDATE! I’m starting one for US states that the books I read are set in, as well. I expect this to be a lot easier to fill up than the world map.


Create Your Own Visited States Map

What’s the most interesting or unique setting you have read this year? Has a book ever caused you to have such extreme wanderlust that you ended up visiting its setting? Tell me in comments section!

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5 thoughts on “Exploring the World from the Comfort of my Chair

  1. Interesting practise! I do the same thing with using a mental map but with historical cultures, empires and kingdoms and by using many different platforms. E.g with the video game Assassins Creed I learnt about Ottomans or with the book Prince I know about Rennaisance Italy. Question: what if, say, the town is fictional but the region/ principality/state is real?

  2. I think I would go ahead and mark the state/etc that is in the real world. Even though the specific town may not be real, by putting it in a particular area of the actual world the author is inherently drawing on characteristics of that region to color their reader’s understanding of the story. Also, in this instance I think it would carry just as much weight for something to be set in a real state but fictional city because the state or country is the only thing that I have the ability to actually list. Unless the book is set in a drastically altered reality, such as using the names of actual places to represent fictional places that are very different or not in the same location. I hadn’t considered that aspect previously!

      • I’m attempting to do books that are set AND published in every country. But, if I can’t find all ones like that, I will settle for published. I enjoy looking at different writing styles.

        I’m sure in reality I won’t get it done for a very long time (or never), but it is still my goal!

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