Dear Nomads and Readers,
After taking a hiatus to improve site functionality, we’re happy to announce that NomadReader is back online—leaner, faster, and better than before. As you look around the site, you’ll notice many more titles and locations, and a better user experience.
As we were redesigning the site, we also took the opportunity to think about why we’re doing this—what we want NomadReader to be, and what purpose we want it to serve. There are other sites out there that list books set in various locations. What sets NomadReader apart is not only the quality of the content—unlike other sites, we go for quality, not quantity (our books are carefully curated), nor do we allow users to upload their own books—but also the fact that this is a project born of genuine passion.
A little background: in 2011 I was working in Toronto at Kobo, an online book retailer, as Director of User Experience Design, where we were designing the ideal digital browsing and reading experience. My wife and I were also traveling a lot during this time. Having moved from Australia, and faced with cheap, easy access to Europe, the Caribbean, and North America, my wife and I took the opportunity before our son was born to travel as much as possible.
Given that our favorite pastimes are a) traveling and b) reading, and what I was doing in my role at Kobo, it now seems inevitable that this project would come to fruition. I love to “travel-read”—to immerse myself in foreign places, cultures, and ways of life through literature. Reading itself is a virtual form of travel, a way to inhabit the life, mind, and world of someone different from yourself. In this, both travel and reading are, at their best, exercises in both imagination and empathy.
And our bet was that other people liked to travel-read as well. And so our goal is simple: to make it easy to discover books set in (or about) the places you travel. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, contact us and we’ll do the research for you.
We’re excited to launch NomadReader 2.0, and we can’t wait to hear what you think. We also want to hear from you about your travel reading—why do you “travel read”? Ever had that amazing lightbulb moment of knowing that you understood a place, people, or culture more deeply, thanks to a great book? And—are we missing any of your favorites? You can contact us via social media or the contact form. We respond to every message. Thanks for coming with us on the journey, and happy travels,
Tony, Abi, and the NomadReader Team
Credits: Backend developer: Sean Chalmers; Frontend developer/designer: Scott Williamson; Photo by Robin Benzrihem on Unsplash.com