Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Mapping the Path to a Literary Life

Though we’ve seen a lot of new technology aimed at booklovers over the last few years, perhaps nothing is likely to touch us in our reading life as acutely as the Book Drum World Map, an addictive site/technology that may well change the way we experience books and perhaps even the way we read them.

Billed as “the perfect companion to the books we love, bringing them to life with immersive pictures, videos, maps and music,” one of the things this might mean in the real world is that we’ll never get any work done again! In the Guardian, Alison Flood surrenders a few hours for a good cause:
Text and pictures illustrate each location, giving a whole new insight, for generally-desk-bound-me at least, into the Gulf of Mexico (The Old Man and the Sea), The Chrysalids (set in a post-apocalyptic Labrador), the Chatham Islands of Cloud Atlas and the Congo of The Poisonwood Bible. Its creators hope users will enjoy working out puzzles such as how close Bridget Jones and Fanny Price lived, and how far the Snow Goose would have to fly to reach Brave New World's lighthouse: I've been having fun searching for the most remote tags – from Svalbard, Philip Pullman's armoured bear island from Northern Lights, to Lord of the Flies, which gets its little red pin on an "uninhabited tropical island" in the middle of the Pacific.
This is interactive book-related content created by folks with a passion for same. The profile of each book includes page-by-page commentary and illustration of the text; description and illustration of the main places or themes of the book; foreign, invented and tricky words deciphered; an objective synopsis of the book as well as subjective analysis and evaluation of the book and biographical information, interview videos, links and photos of the author.

You can experience the Book Drum World Map for yourself here and taste Flood’s take on it in the Guardian here.



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