Until now, I’ve never thought much about what state a book is set in, unless it’s extremely relevant to the plot. Who would even guess that we have books set in every state? Shouldn’t our protagonists be crossing state lines if they’re having adventures wild enough to write a book about? Some adventures are apparently very location-specific, because not only is there a book set in every state, there’s a most popular book set in every state. That implies the existence of more than one.
This info comes from personal loan company NetCredit, via HuffPost. Not sure why a loan company creates these kinds of maps and data sets, except that everyone is very thirsty for content. The map they made is pretty cool, so if I need a personal loan I’ll probably remember them:
Hey, a lot of these books I’ve heard of! And a lot of them are on the required reading list in most high schools, which feels like it’s tipping the scale a bit. Of course The Great Gatsby is the most popular book set in New York. It’s been around almost a hundred years and we were all forced to read it (tldr; money doesn’t buy time travel).
Other books are a bit surprising because I read them and forgot where they happen, like how Middlesex was set in Michigan or Bridge to Terabithia was set in Virginia. And even though the name of the book is location-specific, I’m pretty surprised that the torrid love affair from Bridges of Madison County happened in Iowa.
The data was collected by putting together a list of famous books that have a clear state line, then comparing their Goodreads ratings, including the number of ratings and reviews received.
Kind of a cool way to use this map might be setting yourself a reading project of going through every one of these books and touring through the entire U.S. from home.
If you want to explore further, NetCredit also figured out the most popular quote from each book by checking which passages were highlighted the most by Kindle readers. Seems invasive! I don’t want a personal loan company to know how often I highlight the naughty bits. They might not give me any money if they know I’m a pervert.
In The Great Gatsby, the most popular quote is “I’m glad it’s a girl and I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
Nice to be reminded that books exist, though. Maybe I’ll read tonight instead fo rewatching True Blood for the third time.