2011 Where Are You Reading Challenge

This Challenge starts January 1, 2011 – December 31st 2011.  The Challenge consists of reading at least one book that covers each of the 50 states of America and you can add as many other countries as you like.

So how do you decide what state a book is categorized under?

1.  In a fiction read it would be the State or Country that the book spends the most time in.  (Ie. If your main character is from Wisconsin but the book is all about his/her time in college in California – the books should categorize under California….)

2.  Non fiction reads categorize  in whatever State or Country it is about (Ie…. a book about fly fishing in Colorado is a Colorado point, and a book about women in Afghanistan is an Afghanistan point.

How to get started

Set up a map under Google Maps.  It is easy to do!  Every time you read a book in 2011, upload a cover picture to Picasa Web Albums (there may be other sites to use, feel free to use what works best for you).


Do you have to have a blog to participate? No.  You can do everything on the map above without linking the book to a review.

Do I have to have my post up by January 1st, 2011? No, but I would think you would want to get started right away at the beginning of the year.  However, you will be able to sign up throughout January as well.

How will people see my map? There are a couple of possibilities.  On your original challenge post you should have a link to your map.  You could also put it on your side bar to draw interest to it (see mine on my left side bar)  I will be linking my map to every review and you could as well, or do a monthly update post….

I dont get it – I cant figure out how to use Google maps but I really want to participate! No worries!  😀  You are welcome to create a challenge post that lists the 50 states (as well as bonus out of USA spots) and then fill them in as you read in the areas.

Do audio books count?  ABSOLUTELY!

Once you are ready and have your map set up please create a blog post (those who have blogs) using the Challenge picture of the map I provided above as well as link to this post so others may join in.  Then come back and link that post here to Mr Linky so I as well as other participants know that you are participating and we can pop in throughout the year to check out your map and how we are all doing.

This is actually a fun and easy challenge as all books you read qualify and it will be fun to see where you generally read books from as well as searching out books to fill in areas that you need.

For those who have covered the 50 states by the end of 2011, they will go into a drawing for a $50 gift card to Barnes and Noble or to Amazon.  **  All other areas beyond the 50 states are bonus points and we will have a drawing using random.org for those who read 10 or more books throughout 2011 in that category.

You can see my map I worked on in 2010 here to see what the map looks like and how the pictures link to the reviews.  (If you zoom in you will see the individual areas I read in and clicking on the blue pins will show you what book it was and clicking on the picture will take you to the post!

That’s it!  Any questions – please leave them in the comments section below.  😀

I can’t wait to see Where You Are Reading!


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* Please enter the link to your post on your blog, not directly to your blog.  Thank you 🙂

*If you do not have a blog but wish to participate by creating the map you can link to your map

130 thoughts on “2011 Where Are You Reading Challenge

  1. I do this type of challenge every year to see how books I can read that take place in the 50 states. I will add this one to the one I already do.

    1. Oh fun Nise! Is the challenge you already do one you do on your own or is there another one out there like this? I haven’t seen one and Googled it before I worked this one up to make sure I wasn’t repeating something already done 😀

    1. do them all 😉

      shakes head…..that doesn’t work, overloaded last year and reading became a chore, gasp!

      At least this one will let you read your other challenge books and just plug in the location. No double reading!

  2. I love the idea of the map! I may end up playing not to win but just for fun! I really have to think about this some more… Um, yeah, I’ve been playing with google maps for the past twenty minutes 🙂

  3. I am trying to sign up for this but I can’t get the link for my map to work. The link it gives me is the link to where I would go and edit my map. How do I get the link just for the map so that people can just view it?

    1. When you are editing your map in the upper right hand corner there is a button that says “link” and that has the url along with the code to embed it.

  4. This sounds like a great challenge! I was thinking the map would look more like the ones you see on the side of an RV showing what states they have covered, but the google map works, especially with the pins showing where you have ‘been’.

    Thanks! I will have to get ready for my travels next year!


  5. I have a similar challenge going on for next year, but it’s not nearly as intense-lol! I don’t think I’d be able to read that many books in a year, plus all the other books I won’t be able to say no to. I’m really impressed with the way you get people to interact on your blog. I’ll definitely be following along!

    1. Hi Liz, I will have to check yours out and see what you are doing! 🙂

      It’s funny that you mentioned the interaction here, I was just having coffee with a friend/author this afternoon and I was telling her that blogging is very relational for me… I love to chat with everyone 😀

  6. I don’t think I am going to sign up for this challenge–I think it is more difficult than what I want to commit to. But if you don’t mind I wanted to steal your idea and put a Google Map in my sidebar and just keep track of where I am reading. Would you mind if I did that???

  7. I love that I can just lay this challenge on top of the ones I am already signed up to participate in. So, I’m in. I’ll do an introductory post today or tomorrow. And, I love Google Maps so I am psyched to do this!

  8. Just when I said I wasn’t going to do any more challenges!! This looks like a lot of fun. I love the map you did. I’m definitely going to do my best to do it. I will be getting all my challenges together this weekend, and yours is one I plan on doing. Thanks!

  9. I want to sign up but I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how you actually linked the photos into the map. I have been playing around with my Google maps with no avail. Any tips?

    1. Lets see…. did you find the edit part where you pull the peg on to the spot on the map?

      Place your peg where you want it then click on it

      It will open a spot and choose rich text editor

      Then click on the picture icon and put in your picture location address (this is where the Picasso site comes in)

      Once your picture is in there click on the picture and then click on the link like you would in a blog post

      Link the picture with your actual book review post

      Be sure when you are done you go to the top of the page and click done and that will hold you marker in place.

      Now when you click on the marker it will show the book cover and wen you click on the cover it should link back to your review post.

      Hope that helps!

      (If you re still having trouble you can always make a list of the states and add your book title to them as you complete them. 🙂 )

  10. Thanks. I got it. I missed the whole edit part to find the peg. For some reason though, my photos do not want to show. Oh well. I am going to map and if photos are there…great…if not, at least the book is placed on the map.

    Thanks for your help!

  11. I’ve made a booboo, Sheila. I don’t know what happened. My user name, lemon123 is in your contact form. I’m sorry. Don’t know how it happened.

    I’m joining your Where Are You Challenge. Too excited. Anyway, I’m doing challenges over at WordPress.

  12. So I started creating my map and for my initial pinpoint I wanted to put the city I live in. When I add the picture though I have to scroll up and down to see the whole thing. How did you get your pictures so big for your pinpoints??

  13. I would love to join in, sadly my computer knowledge is very limited and Google and I are not always the best of friends (as in Google Doc) but I will try.

      1. I had not thought of that! Low tech is the way of my future. Seriously, I am downgrading my phone which is baffling the phone company which cannot grasp why I want less technology on my phone.

  14. I’m going to give this a try. Some of the states will definitely be trickier for me than others and it’s anyone’s guess whether I can get the map to work correctly, but it’ll be fun to try.

    1. Lori I actually am surprised what states I wind up in… for instance who would have thought that my book review today Fallen, was set in Georgia? There’s a state I would have thought would have been a hard pick up! 😀

  15. The is a lovely challenge! Last year I would have jumped in with both feet but this year I decided to read the books I own before buying new ones so I’m going to dip my toes in to see how the water is

    I truly hope you do this again!

  16. Randomly, the theme of this challenge is coinciding perfectly with my libraries summer reading theme – you are here. We’re doing a giant map of book’s locations based pretty much on the same criteria you’ve outlined. This is pretty cool.

    1. Megan, I’m trying to do that at my library. Have you found a way to fill in the map electronically, or are you using the pins with Google maps?

  17. I like that this challenge works with the lists I’ve already created for other challenges. I think this will be fun. Thanks for hosting it!

    PS I posted my globe as a link in the sidebar instead of as a separate post, so that it will accessible all year. Hope that’s ok!

  18. Sounds like fun! I’ve been tracking my states in my reading but haven’t tried to hit any specific ones. Maybe this year I will. Thanks!

  19. I’d like to do this, though without the pressure of trying to get all 50 states, just tracking WHERE I am reading – sounds like fun! Of course, I will have to figure out how all this works with Google Maps…could be a while…

    Uh, is that THE Gary Paulson, the famous author, who commented above????


    1. Hi Sue! In the upper right hand of your map you will see a place where it says: RSS, Print, Send, Link. Click on the link and where it says paste link in email – highlight and copy that. There is your direct link to your map –

      one note, make sure you like the look of your map (IE> zoom in, zoom out) because however it looks when you grab the link is how it will look when people click on your link.

      Above all else – have fun! 😀

  20. I joined a couple of days ago and am looking forward to this challange. am on book 5 for the year (most weeks are not this many but am on holidays) and its set in scotland. This is fun

  21. I’m joining this a little late, but I think it will be a good opportunity for me to read outside my usual fare. I want to read a lot more this year and this challenge will provide me with a good excuse. I’m so used to reading books from one state (Hawaii), that it will be interesting to read books set or about other states.

    I love the idea of the map! I think I have mine set up properly. For me, Hawaii will be the easiest (and probably first) state I get. If anyone needs help with Hawaii feel free to come by http://www.hawaiibookblog.com and see what our state has to offer. 🙂 I’m interested in seeing what books you all will be reading to get your Hawaii pin.

    While I probably won’t do individual reviews of the books on our blog (as they won’t be Hawaii-related), I’ll figure something out. But I’ll be sure to mention the challenge on our Twitter/Facebook and in my next “Book End” post.

    Here’s my map:

  22. OK, I finally added a second pin to my map and posted on my blog about the challenge:


    And I reposted it on my kids’ book blog, too:


    Google Maps, etc. was all new to me, so I’m still trying to figure some things out. For instance, how did you post the graphic of the challenge on your blog, with a link to your Google Map? I’m not sure how to make a picture a link. I’ll keep trying!


  23. This is so cool!! I’m going to do my “announcement” post later in the week but I was working on my map today and I can see how fun this is going to be!! What a great idea! Thanks!

  24. I’ve been intending to so this for weeks but couldn’t get my act together–to figure out the map among other things. I’ve got it created now but no books recorded yet nor have i got the Picasa thing figured out yet. But I wanted to establish my intent to participate participate before the end of the month.

    I can’t believe how many books you’ve finished in one month!

    I haven’t finished any yet. When I’m reading primarily NF I read in many in a short time but finish few. But the main reason why this month is the baby afghan I’m determined to finish by mid February tho I suppose I could choose to listen to audio books instead of watch videos while I crochet.

    Here’s my post.

    1. Once you create and name your map in the left side area there will be a button that says edit. When you click it at the top of your map it will show the blog peg… grab it and drag it to where you want it to go. By clicking on it will open so you can add your picture and link to the pin – directions to do that are in the comments and in the post 😀

  25. So I have the map embedded into my blog post for this challenge and I can add the pins to enter the name of the book I’m reading, but how do I include the picasa pictures in the map?

    1. Hi Jamie. You upload your pics to the picasa site:


      Once you upload your pics choose the picture you wish to add to your map by clicking on the picture… it will take you to a new screen.

      Now right click on the picture and it will give you a list of options. You want to View Image Info.

      Copy the image property address and then go to your blue peg on your map…

      Clciking on the peg will cause it to open to a post box where you can put in your title author, location – whatever…

      then click in the open box the rich text editor. Then click on the little link for a picture.

      That will open to a place where you can paste the address.

      Do that and your picture is on your map. Now be sure to click save and done in the upper left side next to your map so your peg does not move.

      If you wish – while the picture is still open in the post site you can click on it and then click the link button. If your post is already up you can add your posts link to the picture –

      Click save and done

      Now when people look at your map not only can see the book you read in that are but if they click on it, it will take you to your review of the book 🙂

    1. This may be sort of cheating, but when I see “North Eastern state” and the author is from Vermont, I just stick the book in Vermont… and often you can guess with a close reading of the book.

  26. Added my 16th state today. Wondering read Inhuman Condition by Kate Thornton and that takes place mainly in the future in Outer Space. lol Where on my map would I put that? 🙂

    Have A Great Day!!!

  27. Hi Sheila: This sounds like a great challenge. I have created my map I just can’t down my picture. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.


    1. YAY Cathy! I use Picasa Web Albums – its easy to load your book covers and then you right click on the cover and get the property location. Copy and then go to your map – place your marker and then choose rich text then click on the pic icon,paste, and save :0 You can even make it linkable to your review!

      I hope you have fun 😀

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