For those of us who grew up obsessed with books, taking trips to the library every chance we got and memorizing the check-out limit, books have always been our safe spaces.
They’re where we go when we have too much to do, or we’re going through something, or just need to escape for a while. I’ve spent many an hour with my head tilted sideways, reading every title on the shelves of the library or hunched on the floor, flipping through a book before buying it at my favorite bookstore.
Libraries, bookstores, they’re my favorite places in the world!
With all of that time spent in the quiet of a library or lost in the shelves on a darkening afternoon, I realize just how quickly that setting can turn sinister. A scream in the silence, eyes peering from the other side of the spines. The quiet is only comforting until you want — no, need — someone around to help you.
The setting of a book can play a massive role in its tone and memorability. The best authors can bring a place to life and make the story feel much more real because of it. That means that the choice of where to set a book is crucial.
Many authors simply set their books where they live, drawing on their day-to-day lives for inspiration. Others find locales that match the plot or feel of the story: noir set in California vs New York, for instance, account for two distinct subgenres.
So what are the states that draw in authors, and which ones are sorely lacking literary representation? You can place your guesses now (sheer population size is a good place to start), but Crossword Solver has done the work of tallying up all the U.S. location tags on Goodreads, so let’s dive into their results.