My favorite books of childhood, "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis and any Nancy Drew mystery, left such an indelible impression on me, that I can remember exactly where I was when I read most of them. That's why the idea behind "Field-Tested Books," a new book by Coudal Partners featuring more than 50 authors and their essays, resonates so strongly with me. From the introduction by Jim Coudal:
We had this notion that somehow through experimentation we could identify how our perception of a book is affected by the place where we read it. Or maybe the other way around. Maybe it’s possible to determine how a book colors the way we feel about the place where we experience it.
We’ve been trying for over six years now, and frankly, we’re not getting any closer to a definitive answer. We know, without a doubt, that book and place do affect each other, and that they are bound as a single experience in our memories...
My memories quickly surfaced as I thought of books I've read, how old I was, where I was. Certain books— their stories, themes and characters—became so important to me at different points in my life. I felt inspired to write an essay based on the "Field-Tested Books" idea. Then I read this:
We’re also interested in more stories about a “certain book read in a certain place.” Email us here with 300-500 words about a book you read somewhere. We’ll select some for publication in our growing collection and send those authors a copy of The Field-Tested Books Book and some other stuff too...
This is the third volume of "Field-Tested Books," and there will be another one in the near futures (which looks like 2-3 years based on these editions' timeframe).
Which books do you associate strongly with a place? If you'd like a writing assignment, take on Jim Coudal's offer and write a 300-500 word piece about one. If you write one and post it to your blog, come back and leave a link, and I'll feature all in an upcoming post.
Yes, I'll be writing one, too. Now if I can just narrow down my book choice.