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Literary Road Trip Across the U.S.

IBDLiteraryMapUSA

Credit: Literary poster by 3Fish Studios


It’s officially summer time which means it’s the perfect time to take a road trip! This year we’re going on a road trip across the continental United States. Next year, we’ll backpack through Europe. Join the challenge and win cool bookish prizes. Keep reading to find out more…

Ready for our next reading challenge? Starting July 1, through September 30, we’ll be hosting a road trip reading challenge. Pack up the Winnebago and get ready to join us for the chance to win some cool bookish prizes.

Goal: To make your way from the East Coast United States to the West Coast in 3 months (July – September).

Instructions: Read your way across the continental U.S. using one book per state. To cross the country you must read and review a book that pertains to the state you select to travel through. In order to move onto the next state in your travels, you must complete the book for the state where you are currently located. The book must be either set in the state or written by an author from that state to qualify.

You must start in one of the following states: Maine, NH, MA, RI, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, or Florida.

You road trip will be over once you have completed arrived in and completed a book for one for the following: Washington, Oregon, or California

This is a road trip so the majority of your travels will be by car, meaning that you must pass through states in the order you would drive them. However, is an exception to this rule.

  • Every Monday we randomly pick 5 states (using random.org) that will become flight hubs for that week (and that week only). If you arrive in this state any time in that next week, you will be able to take a short westbound flight. This will let you skip over one state or travel to any landmark (see below) that is located east of your current destination. You may fly one time each month.

Landmarks & Bonus points: Bonus points will be awarded for traveling to specific landmarks (list is posted on our challenge page).

Travel mishaps: Every Monday, we will randomly select two readers to experience a travel mishap and 2 states for a blackout. Maybe you run into a weather problem or get a flat tire. What does this mean? For the two players it means that for the rest of that week you will be stranded in your current state and will NOT be able to start a state/book until the following monday. If you are halfway through a state (e.g., in the midst of a book) you may keep reading that book but you will be unable to move on to the next book until the next monday. No one player will be selected more than once a month.

For the states selected, it means that that states will be unavailable for travel for the entire week. If you are in that state at the time, you can finish your book but you can’t start your next book until the blackout is over. If you were planning to travel through that state you must either wait until the following Monday to start that state/book OR you can change your travel plans and bypass the state.

More detailed instructions, point/scoring system, and list of prizes are posted on our challenge page (see pull down bar in the blog “challenge” menu) tomorrow. Starting July 1, you will want to make sure you check the challenge page every Monday to see the flight hubs and travel mishaps.

So who will be traveling with us? Let us know here and head over the challenge page to start your comment thread. See the example of the comment thread I started there.

45 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’m in! This sounds like a lot of fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    June 28, 2017
  2. Currey #

    I am reading: Reading the Forested Landscape – A Natural History of New England by Tom Wessels. It is largely describing New Hampshire so:
    Starting: New Hampshire
    Book: Reading the Forested Landscape
    Points: 0

    Liked by 1 person

    June 28, 2017
    • If you want to participate make sure to post this comment on the challenge page since that’s where I will be keeping track of all the scores for prizes and posting all the updates. Challenge starts July 1. Perfect book!

      Like

      June 28, 2017
    • Challenge page is in the menu bar of the blog under pulldown menu “challenges” That way once we start you can just hit reply to your original comment and it will nest all comments under your name/main comment thread. A bit clunky but it has worked okay for pst challenges. Good luck!

      Like

      June 28, 2017
  3. Tessa Bartels #

    Sounds like fun … I’d like to try

    Liked by 1 person

    June 28, 2017
  4. Tessa Bartels #

    QUESTION: Above you write: Every Monday we randomly pick 5 states (using random.org) that will become flight hubs for that week (and that week only). If you arrive in this state any time in that next week, you will be able to take a short WESTbound flight. This will let you skip over one state or travel to any landmark (see below) that is located east of your current destination. You may fly one time each month.

    But in the official rules / challenge page you say it’s an EASTbound flight ….

    In both cases you mention a landmark to the EAST of current destination (I assume you mean the current state I’m “reading” in)

    Why would anyone choose to go EAST … when the entire game is moving to the WEST?

    Like

    June 28, 2017
    • That is correct (eastbound) for landmarks only. If you simply want to skip a state then you would obviously move west. You get 5 bonus points if you visit a state with a landmark but we don’t want people skipping over half the continent to get to westbound landmarks. Really this option is for those readers who are working to amass points and not just go as quickly as possible westbound. So it’s a risk to amass the points by going backwards to landmarks you want to catch because then you will have to head west again. Does that make sense?

      Like

      June 28, 2017
    • And yes, in each case whether you skip a state to head west or go east to a landmark, it’s from the location you are currently reading. As long as you “book your flight” ahead of time then you can just head there once you’ve finished your current read.

      Like

      June 28, 2017
      • Blueberry #

        If I went east to catch a landmark and skipped over some states to get there do I have to reread those states?caa

        Liked by 1 person

        June 30, 2017
      • You can only visit each state once but you would need to read states again on the way back just taking a different route. I guess that’s where you’ll have to determine if it’s worth the risk. If it were me I’d probably not fly too far backwards even for the extra points

        Like

        June 30, 2017
  5. Rachel #

    Sounds like fun. I’ll join in.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 28, 2017
  6. Tracy S #

    Can we meander north or south a bit, as long as the states are connected?

    Liked by 1 person

    June 28, 2017
  7. Jenni #

    I have a question! For the landmarks, I was assuming that the book we choose needs to have something to do with that actual landmark. For example, to get the 5 bonus points, the book would need to have something to do with Mt. Rushmore, not just be set in South Dakota. Is that true, or do we get the 5 bonus points if we merely visit the state?

    Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    June 28, 2017
    • Great question. No, it doesn’t need to mention the landmark. Just set in that state.

      Like

      June 28, 2017
  8. I really want to do this, so I’m going to say I’m in … hopefully Man Booker will cooperate.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 28, 2017
    • Ha, I doubt it. I’m going to play too but I’m dreading doing both at once. At least that doesn’t start until end of July

      Like

      June 28, 2017
  9. question: If you live in a starting or ending state, do you have to read two books for that state?

    Liked by 1 person

    June 28, 2017
    • No, why? We aren’t necessarily starting on our home states (I may be if I start with MA). We all start on a state on the East cost then end on the west coast. So only one book per state. Where we live is irrelevant.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 28, 2017
      • maybe I misread.

        Liked by 1 person

        June 28, 2017
      • Hmm, if it’s not clear, I can change it. I definitely don’t want it to be confusing for anyone. I’m glad you asked

        Like

        June 28, 2017
  10. Rachel #

    This looks like so much fun! Do you have a particular definition for where an author’s from? If they’re described as born in X, brought up in Y and now living in Z, for example, could I use them for any of those States?

    Liked by 1 person

    June 29, 2017
    • Whatever you think works. We’ll be flexible and any of those work

      Like

      June 29, 2017
      • Rachel #

        Fantastic, thanks! I might actually tackle some of my tbr doing this 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        June 29, 2017
  11. You do come up with some imaginative challenges. I’m fully committed otherwise I might be tempted …..next year I’ll be sure to take part though since I have so many books from european countries already

    Liked by 1 person

    June 29, 2017
  12. JoLene R #

    OK — I’ve been taking a break from challenges, but this one looks fun. I’m not sure how competitive I will be due to RL stuff, but I can probably at least get in a couple of books.

    Question: Can you have started a book already? I was going to try to finish Gone with the Wind in July (award winner), I started it a while back (about 30% done). I won’t pick it back up until July 1 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    June 29, 2017
    • You’re only 30% in? Since that is a giant book I will allow it since finishing it would still be like reading at least two other books

      Like

      June 29, 2017
  13. I’m going to give it a try. I have plenty of US authors on my reading pile!

    Liked by 1 person

    June 29, 2017
  14. Fun challenge! I can’t possibly do this one plus Reading Around the World and 20 Books of Summer. But I’ll play in spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 30, 2017
  15. Jenni #

    Another question (sorry!): Do we have the option of visiting more than one of the ending states (California, Oregon, and Washington) or are we done as soon as we hit one of those states? Just wondering if I could hit California and then keep going North, Thanks!

    Like

    June 30, 2017
    • As long as you tell me ahead of time that the west coast state you visit first isn’t the end point then that would be fine

      Like

      June 30, 2017
  16. Tessa Bartels #

    QUESTION … how much of the book must be set in the state for it to count? For example, I’m reading a book for my F2F book club THE GATEKEEPER by Kathryn Smith. It’s the story of Missy LeHand, the personal secretary of FDR. A good portion of the first third of the book is set in New York, but, of course, much of the action will move to Washington DC once he’s elected President (and some in Georgia for his frequent visits to Warm Springs). So would this count for New York?

    Oh, and is DC part of the trip?

    Liked by 1 person

    July 6, 2017
    • Yes it would count. And you can count D.C. If you wish.

      Like

      July 6, 2017
      • Tessa Bartels #

        Thanks! While waiting for my “new york” book to arrive at the library (darn those holidays that interfere with transfers) I started reading this one for my F2F book club. Great that I can count it for NY.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 6, 2017
  17. I have just printed my map and am now trying to fit my start location in with books I have, just a quick questions Connecticut is not showing as a starting location is that right?

    Like

    July 8, 2017
  18. JoLene #

    Question on how to use a flight hub. Do you need to finish the book for the flight hub state before the week is up? And do you read the book for the flight hub state, or just catch flight to the next state? …I’m two states away from OK, but wanted to try for a flight back east. I’m not sure I can finish 3 books before next Monday, but I also want to read my OK pick.

    Like

    July 24, 2017
    • All you need to do is get to the state and call where you want to go next by end of week before it changes. As long as you have called where you want to go to and state that you are using a flight, you can go your own speed. You do need to read the state the flight hub is on and the next state (the one you travel to) but can skip over the one(s) in between. You are considered to be in a state if you call it. And you can leave a state once you have finished the book for that state. Does that make sense?

      Like

      July 24, 2017
      • JoLene Ramm #

        Yep — so as long as I get to OK by Sun night and declare I will be using the flight hub to go to another state, I can finish OK book and travel after July 31.
        After asking the question, I looked to see if anyone had used it. I’m not sure that Chili read the book for the flight hub. before travelling. You might want to call that out in the instructions because it wasn’t clear. Awesome challenge though — I’m trying to use books from my tbr so it’s been fun to see what I have that fits.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 24, 2017
      • Thanks. I will double check. I’ve been trying to watch each person but it’s a lot to keep track of. I will clarify in the instructions

        Like

        July 24, 2017
      • you are correct. She skipped over it. I will let read it to make up for it before she proceeds on to the next destination

        Like

        July 24, 2017

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