Introduction: Bookpacking – Bringing Books to Life, Journeying with the Author
While sitting in Starbucks at Yonge and Charles Street in downtown Toronto, telling a friend about my Read the World Challenge, she asked if I have ever heard of bookpacking. She couldn’t remember where she first learned about the concept, but thought it would be good for me to look at. This concept is new to me.
I was intrigued, so when I returned home, I decided to research the concept to gather as much information as possible. There isn’t a lot of information on bookpacking, because someone actually coined that phrase.
However, I found an interesting website, Bookpackers.com, where Andrew Chater, an award-winning filmmaker, is using some great stories to tour the United States, recreating the journey in the books he selected.
Have you read?
Bookpacking With Andrew Chater
This is a fantastic idea, and some of the books he is using, include:
I have read The Big Sleep and The Call of the Wild, but I am particularly interested in The Call of the Wild by Jack London, which is such a fantastic story, with a lot of movement. Imagine journeying with Jack London through the Yukon in Canada and into Alaska. Into the Wild would be a great book to experience.
Related Post: The Call of the Wild by Jack London, a SummaReview
Bookpacking and Google Lit Trips
When I read about Andrew Chater’s project, I wondered how I could tie it to the Read the World Challenge. I am not quite sure how to do that, but in thinking about it, I was reminded of Google Lit Trips. Using Google Maps, many have brought classic literature to life, to engage students in the classroom. There are similarities between Google Lit Trips and bookpackers.
In an earlier iteration of Read the World, when I called it the Virtual Literary World Tour, I wanted to tie literature, geography, history and technology together, but I simply couldn’t pull it off, because I couldn’t get Google Maps to work the way I needed it to.
A few years later, perhaps the time is right for me to try again. I am not going to recreate the journey in the books I read, while on the Read the World Challenge, because that goal is too ambitious for me, and there are other things that I need to accomplish. But a more modest goal of mapping the birthplaces of the authors is doable for me. Imagine taking my readers to places they have only heard of, or never heard of, to learn basic information about the place. And if the information piques someone’s interest, he or she can learn more about the place.
Final Thoughts: Bookpacking – Bringing Books to Life, Journeying with the Author
Many people are not in a position to physically travel the world to learn more about different cultures, but they can travel the world through the books they read – they can participate in bookpacking or become a bookpacker. They can see a place the way the author does, allowing them to walk a mile in another person’s shoes.