Mini-Challenge: Make your own Book Map! Travel the World in Books Readathon (Part 1)

Travel the World in Books is reincarnated as a Readathon! I think it's genius: a readathon within a bigger reading challenge! This is cooked up by the lovely ladies at Mom's Small Victories, I'm Lost in Books, and Savvy Working Girl.

Ready to join in and expand your reading and cultural horizons? Plus join in some mini-challenges and giveaway? Check out the Sign Up Post.

Take the challenge. Make your own Book Map!

As part of Travel the World in Books Challenge, I decided to create my own book map on Google Maps. I love the idea of being able to click on the map and see the range of countries where my reads have taken place. A plus is that I am horrible at geography.

Check it out in my right side bar or click HERE. Do you want to make your own? In this tutorial, I'll show you how! I'm only going to show you the basics because you can go so many ways with this.

When I was writing this, I realized that this was going to get really long, so this is only Part 1 which covers Plan, Create Your Map & Start Mapping Your Reads. 

Step 1: Plan

When I was making my map, I didn't exactly know what I was doing. So the planning took place while I was creating the map itself, so I was constantly tweaking or redoing things because I'd change my mind at every turn.

Decide what you're mapping.
  • Do you want to map where the stories took place (settings)? 
  • Or do you want to map what the nationality of the authors (for example, you want to map Japanese authors, German authors, Australian authors, etc.)? 
  • Do you want to map fiction, non-fiction, or both?
  • Do you want to map by genre?
You can probably see where I'm going with this: this map can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. For this challenge, I suggest we do simple ;) ... but you can figure out what works best for you.

I only went with these two:
  • Book setting
  • Fiction and non-fiction

Step 2: Create your map

This is a pre-requisite: You need to have a Google account. If you don't have one, create one here.

1. Go to Google Maps.

2. Sign in to your Google Account (if you haven't already. Use the link in the top right corner.)

3. Click "My Maps" > Create.

4. This should show up on your screen. We'll go through each of the things you should edit.

4a. Click "Untitled Map" and this pop-up will, well pop up! Go ahead and put in your Map Title and a description. Click Save. (You can edit this anytime, so don't stress about getting it perfect the first time around.)

4b. Click "Untitled Layer" and decide what the layer will contain. Here, I've decided to just map my 2014 Reads, going forward on this challenge. Click Save.

4c. Click "Base Map" and choose which type of map you want to display.

Step 3: Start mapping your reads!

Now the fun part! If you have a list of your reads by setting, this could go pretty quickly.

1. Enter a country (or if you know the exact location, like a city or state, and the country) in the search bar. Press enter. The map will zoom to the location and a green marker will show up.

I put in "Nigeria" which is the setting of I Do Not Come to You by Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, the book I want to add to my map. 

2. Add your marker to the map by clicking the little marker I've pointed out in the screen shot. Just place this in the vicinity of the first green marker.

A little box will pop up where you can put in your book details. Here, I've put in the title and the link to the review.

If you click the little camera icon in the corner of the box, this will call up a Google search and you can add a cover of the book (or a photo of the author, or whatever you like.)


Voila! There's your first entry!

3. Now just do the previous step for your other books. I suggest that you do this as a part of your post routine -- add the book to the map when you've completed your post right away. Before you know it, you'll have lots of books in your map.

If you need more detail, you can check out this link:
Creating Maps Using Custom Maps for Google Maps 

I'll be back tomorrow with Part 2 which will cover Tweaking your Book Map and Embedding your Book Map in your Blog. Stay tuned! 

Want to keep going ...?



  1. This is such a wonderfully creative idea. I am going to try it. Will let you know how I make out. :)

  2. I finally got around to doing this!


© guiltless readingMaira Gall