The Millions’ Collaborative Atlas of Book Stores and Literary Places

March 18, 2009 | 47 2 min read

Update: Because Google’s tools for maintaining this map are limited, and because the map was getting frequent spammy and irrelevant edits, we’ve closed the editing feature on the map for now. In the meantime, the map includes plenty of stores and places to check out. Hopefully we’ll be able to allow people to add to the map again some time in the future.

In revisiting, expanding and ruminating upon the updated Walking Tour of New York’s Independent Bookstores we unveiled yesterday, we realized the potential to use these same tools to create a much more comprehensive atlas of the bookstores and literary places important to readers.

After putting together our first NY store tour post two years ago, we heard from several readers looking for similar walking tours for other cities and towns. Others just wanted to let everyone know about their own favorite bookstores. This would be a great resource, but we need your help.

Below you’ll find The Millions’ Collaborative Atlas of Book Stores and Literary Places. This Atlas is open to anyone and everyone to edit, and to get the ball rolling we have preloaded it with the New York map we posted here yesterday. We encourage you to add book stores and literary sites found in your town. Using the tools available, it’s also possible to create book store tours for other cities worldwide.

Click to view and edit a larger version of the map (Once you’ve clicked through to Google Maps, use the “Edit” button on the left sidebar to add content to the map).

We’ll be excited to see the Atlas evolve and we hope that over time it becomes a useful tool for readers (and travelers) everywhere. With this in mind, we’ll be keeping the Atlas embedded in our sidebar (it’s also accessible via Google). If you make an addition to the map, feel free to let us know in the comments below.

Note: Even though the map is centered on the U.S., readers all over the world can take part! Once you click over to Google Maps to make your additions, just navigate to your part of the world.

Note 2: If you want to spread the word about the Atlas, feel free to embed it on your own sites.

This is the byline used for site announcements and for articles by more than one Millions contributor.

47 comments:

  1. assume this is limited to the US for the moment and doesn't extend to the UK or Australia?

  2. Definitely not limited to the U.S.! We'd love it if our international (and well-traveled) readers added their favorite spots outside of the U.S.!

  3. I added Book Soup, Skylight and Vroman's for Los Angeles readers. There are others (Diesel, Stories, Portrait of a Bookstore, etc.) that will need to be added, either by someone else, or when I have more time.

    I also included Iowa City's Prairie Lights, which is a wonderful store with a terrific reading series.

  4. I added Shaman Drum Bookshop, a wonderful independent bookstore in Ann Arbor, MI, that's in danger of closing. :(

  5. In Seattle, I added Bailey-Coy Books and Elliott Bay Books. Also, in Bellevue, Washington, Half Price books, where good deals rule.

  6. I added an English-language store in Vienna, a bookstore in Vancouver BC, one in Waterloo ON and one in Guelph ON

  7. Where is most of the mid-west and the UK-? I have visited wonderful bookshops in London but can't remember their names- help please! I am also surprised Ireland has not chimed in since their national pass time is reading.

  8. Added Jackson Street Books in Athens, Georgia. Wish we could add a photo but Google Maps doesn't seem to have that feature (?)…

  9. I added one store in Bayfield, ON and two stores in Stratford, Ontario. Also, I dug out the TLS's series from approx. 15 months ago ('Perambulatory Xmas Books') on good used-book stores in London, UK. I added four of those (after confirming that they're still there).

  10. Green Apple Books in San Francisco – best used bookstore in the city on one of the best culinary streets. Be sure to check out both stores (three doors apart)!

  11. I have added some literary sites to the St. Louis region, and one bookstore. This includes sites relating to Mark Twain, Kate Chopin, William Gass, William S. Burroughs, Henry Adams, T.S. Eliot, and others.

  12. I added the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA. When I was writing an MA thesis on medieval drama my research took me there and I fell in love with the place. They have the only extant copy of the Medieval Wakefield Mystery Cycle plays in the world. It was a thrill to see this hand written manuscript. If you are in LA or San Diego it is worth a day trip. The gardens, gallery and library are spectacular.

  13. I've added the Time Out Bookshop in Auckland, New Zealand – it's a joy of a place to browse and buy. And they host a very good book group too.

  14. If you're visiting Three Lives & Co., you'll be just a few yards from my shop, Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks (out-of-print and used). I'm at 163 West Tenth St., across Tenth and slightly to the left (west) of Three Lives.
    Bonnieslotnickcookbooks.com will tell you more.
    As for adding it to the map–I'll leave that for others more tech-savvy, and thanks!

  15. I added a bunch of bookshops and literary sites in London, especially around Bloomsbury. I assume this is for independent shops only?

  16. I added Mary Who? Bookshop in Townsville, Australia. Great independent bookstore, has been in Townsville over twenty years.

  17. Attempted to add a couple of secondhand bookshops in York, UK; and St Helena's Hospice Charity Bookshop in Frinton-on-sea, UK.

  18. I revisited the map after Max noted it had 500,000 visitors as of today, and found several places that I'd marked had disappeared. No idea why except for possibly one case: Jackson Street Books in Athens, Georgia, was gone but a new tag placed a few blocks from JSB advertised a store that won't open until 2010 — and has no actual storefront! I've added JSB back again, but now it's eclipsed by the marker of the other, unless you zoom in real close. I have no business connections with JSB beyond being a long-time customer, but if JSB disappears again, you may see dueling marker flags!

  19. CORRECTION to entry about JSB. Other entries had been deleted from the map for unknown reasons, but JSB had been hidden behind a newer nearby marker. I simply didn't zoom in close enough to see it. My error!

  20. Added Lapland Bookshop & Arts in Marshall, NC — 30 min NW of Asheville. A beautiful storybook cottage by the river, filled with used and new books, hand crafts, cards, CD's, local interest, community-centered events, and more. Opened May 2009!

  21. Hi there, it seems that the collaboration option has been disabled for this map. I don’t see an Edit button any more when I open it. Is that on purpose? Thanks.

  22. Thanks for doing this! When you get a chance, please add Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck, NY and Millerton, NY.

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