For more than 1000 years travel writing is one of the most popular genres. Reading a travelogue is taking a trip with its author. In place and in time, usually. For me, Corfu island is what Gerald Darrell has written about his life there. To many Prague is Kafka, or Meyrink's Golem, or the round face of a good soldier Swejk.
But how many of us have taken Dumas 'Three Musketeers' to Paris? No, we read it only before or after, when we can't walk and experience the city ourselves.
We take a 'Lonely Planet' guide instead. But such guidebooks are not for reading, at least not for a pleasure of it. They are for planning trips and finding the way in strange places. They're full of maps, tips and tiny texts describing a horrible lot of places to visit.
But they are not a story. You don't sit in a cosy arm-chair sipping wine reading 'DK Eyewitness Travel Guide'. Usually you leaf through it in a hotel room or on the street.
Inspired by books, we travel in places fictional and real. So why not make a book our real guide? Why not take its content as an outline of a trip, and explore what's there—and beyond.
Imagine reading an e-book, enriched with maps, pictures of places old and new (so you can recognize in Paris of nowadays a house where D'Artagnan lived).
Imagine finding rich commentary right in the book, available at a single tap, but not interfering with the text you read.
Imagine creating a trip itinerary right in the book, sharing it with friends, adding your own notes and photos as you travel.
You might be an arm-chair traveller as well as a real globe trotter. Such interactive travelogues will give you more to explore, make reading deeper and travelling more interesting.
So, the plan is three-fold:
I wish I could immediately handle you our first book to read and try out the interactive 'mapping' part. But it's really easier said than done :) So far it's in the research phase.
Like-minded people are always welcome! If you know about similar project or resources, or if you have some thoughts you want to share let's talk!