A virtual visit to a bookstore via Google maps

I’m a follower of Ebook friendly, a blog about eBooks and related subjects. Piotr Kowalczyk, who writes it, keeps his pulse on the eBook world and always has something interesting to say, but his latest post caught be by surprise, since it was about visiting a bookstore via Google maps and Google Street View. It’s the way of the future, folks.

I’ll leave Piotr to explain it to you:

Fascinating: visiting a bookstore using Google Street View

Looking at places via Google Maps and Google Street View from a god’s perspective is nothing new and many people got used to it. But the magic comes when we go inside. And it gets absolutely mesmerizing when the interiors we enter are full of books.

O’Reilly Tools of Change shared a post on Facebook which invited to have a virtual walk through the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver (here is link to bookstore’s website). I became extremely interested, as I love to find and explore technology that helps people read again. I came to Tattered Cover  – and it was a totally striking experience.

tattered coiver

The pictures are surprisingly sharp. They are so detailed that you can read book titles. There are shadows of people on the move, giving a feeling of human presence. Once you learn how to use Google Street navigation and zooming function, you can fully enjoy being,well, in a real bookstore. (Click on the photo above to reach the Google map page, then rotate the circle in the top right-hand corner GC.)

I was looking for an opened book, to check whether it’s possible to read it in Google Street View. I didn’t find it in Tattered, but there is one in Capitol Hill Books (check this Google Street View link and pan down a bit).

Bookstores make much more sense than any other kind read on here

Designing a bookish tour of Britain? No problem.

I can’t help myself. I love maps that tell me where the best literary events, or sites or bookstores are. I own the Atlas of Literature, which covers the world and is great for browsing, but it doesn’t keep me up to date. So I was thrilled to see that the British newspaper, The Guardian, has designed an interactive literary map of Britain. The reason it’s interactive is that you’re free to add events you know of, and, I suppose, literary sites you feel might be missing.

You can add reviews of your favorite bookshops, which I’m sure is encouraging people to visit the independent bookstores of Britain (although the chain stores are listed too, in case you need a book right away…).

The London section has reminded me of all the writers’ houses I’d like to visit: Orwell, Keats, Karl Marx (his house is now the Quo Vadis restaurant) and more. There are literary festivals, book readings, poetry evenings listed from Aberdeen in the North of Scotland, to Exeter in the Southwest of England, to Ireland and Wales.

If you’re one of my British readers you may already be using the map. For those elsewhere, it’s a great way to plan your next trip to Britain. Here it is!


By the way, it’s sponsored in part by the National Book Tokens, a terrific British way of giving someone a book but letting them choose it themselves. The tokens (we’d call them vouchers in the US) are redeemable at any bookstore, but only for books. So you know that your gift will be used for a book, and not some other piece of merchandise. You can give someone a Barnes and Noble or Amazon voucher here in the US, but you never know what the recipient will buy with it. Ah well. Enough of my pet peeves. Time to make plans for my next trip.