Ready for a literary trip? Industrious bibliophiles have created some maps to make trip planning easier for the rest of us. Follow John Steinbeck’s lead and drive across the U.S. (canine companion optional), head to Paris to walk in the footsteps of the literati, or even plot a round-the-world sojourn using books as your guide.
The Obsessively Detailed Map of American Literature’s Most Epic Road Trips
This labor of literary love is the result of a “painstaking and admittedly quixotic effort to catalog the country as it has been described in the American road-tripping literature.” The interactive map includes every place name reference in a dozen books about U.S. travel–from Mark Twain’s classic Roughing It to Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road to Cheryl Strayed’s contemporary memoir Wild–and maps each author’s route.
The Literary Left Bank, Paris
The San Francisco Chronicle article “Two bookstores with Bay Area roots help literary life thrive in Paris” includes a map pinpointing literary locales on the French city’s Left Bank–like the residence where Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas held their famous salons; Cafe Tournon, frequented by James Baldwin and other writers in the postwar years; and the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, a library with an ornate reading room used by James Joyce and Simone de Beauvoir.
LoveReading.co.uk’s Google Maps Book Mash-up
Whether you’d like to travel by the book in person or via an armchair, this handy map highlights literary works associated with places around the world. A quick look showed what page-turners Joni and I can read to get ready for upcoming trips we’ll be taking: Mexico City for me (The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano) and Cape Town for her (Summertime by J.M. Coetzee).