I need help!!
When I dreamed up the idea for Packabook I decided to start with around 20 countries, and then add more as and when I could. But a couple of years later, I am a little disappointed with how few new countries I have added between now and then. Currently I am sitting on about 30, and there are just SO many more places in the world which are not yet represented.
On top of that, there are places which you just cannot really put on as one single country, because there are far too many books to group together – yes USA, I am talking about you! The United States absolutely must be divided into states from the beginning, and so too England should have been divided into counties from the start…
So – this is the plan…and I’m going to need your help.
Each month I’d love you to nominate a world country, an English county and an American state. And over the next month, those are the ones I will add. It makes sense that with so many places to choose from, I work on those you most want to see. So for those who have emailed me in the past asking about particular countries – here’s a chance for you to put in a vote for the ones you desire!
Below, I have made a list of the possible countries and territories etc (177), English counties (43) and American states (51). A girl should always have a list to work from, and I’m going to enjoy moving them from the ‘To Do’ list to the ‘Done’ list, even if it takes nearly 15 years to do them all, which it will if I stick to the planned rate. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these countries may not actually exist by the time I get to them!
It’s hard to avoid a political quagmire when making a list of countries. While it may seem straight forward – colonisation, conflict and calls for independence result in constantly changing borders and disagreement over where those borders actually are. I am avoiding the political game as much as possible and categorising places in the way that makes the most sense to me. I started with a list of United Nations’ sovereign states, and then adapted it from there. Some of those sovereign states I have broken up into their respective countries and territories (i.e. UK into England, Scotland etc), some I am grouping together by geographic region (many of the Caribbean countries). Some have their own listing because they are disputed territories (Western Sahara), others because they are geographically so far away from their ‘Mother Country’ it makes no sense from a traveler’s point of view to list them as part of that country (Pitcairn Islands), and some because they are a combination of the two (Falkland Islands). There are even some tiny (or uninhabited) places I have missed altogether for now, knowing that I’ll deal with where best to put them, if and when I find books set there. And finally — please understand that this is no way a definitive list. I will be adjusting it, changing the categories and making additions as I dig a little deeper and make new discoveries about countries, their borders and their history. After all – that’s partly what Packabook is all about.
It’s been a fun process putting this together and I’m looking forward to you joining me for the next bit. It is amazing how many countries there are in the world and I’m delighted to say I discovered some I didn’t even know existed in parts of the world where I should have known better – Andorra for example! How did I not know there was a separate microcountry squeezed in between France and Spain? I had always mistakingly believed Andorra belonged to one or the other.
So – will you join me in the challenge of making Packabook a truly valuable resource so that one day, wherever you go, you will be able to find the ideal novel to take with you? Even if it is in Andorra? Help me set our travel itinerary by choosing one country, one English county and one American state for me to work on in October…and if you have a favorite novel for any of the places you choose, I’d love to hear about that as well. (No self-published books at this stage please, with so many traditionally published novels to deal with first, the huge number of self-published novels will have to wait!) Once you’ve made your choices, please use the comment section below — preferably using the Facebook comments so we can widen the discussion beyond the blog itself — to let me know what they are. You’ll have to go all the way down past the looooong lists of places to get there!
This is very exciting. You are all steering the ship….where will we go next??
To Do: (177)
Burkina Faso (Burkina, Upper Volta)
Central Africa Republic
DR Congo (Congo-Kinshasa, Belgian Congo, Zaire)
Guinea (French Guinea, Gineau-Conakry)
Isle of Man
Israel & the Palestinian Territories
Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire)
Palau (Pelew, Belau)
Papua New Guinea
São Tomé and Príncipe
Sudan (North Sudan)
Suriname (Dutch Guiana)
Swaziland (Ngwane, Swatini)
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
Tuvalu (Ellice Islands)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
English Counties – with some adaption for practical purposes, making places easier to find for those from other countries!
To Do: (43)
Isle of White
Tyne and Wear
American States + Washington D.C.
To Do: (51)
OK – now it’s over to you. Which country, county and state would you like to see next on Packabook? Scroll down to the bottom of the page and let me know in the comments…
And thanks for helping out…