The Future of the Book: No. 1 The Floor Plan

Suggestion: please can all novels from now on have floor plans. How am I meant to get a clear idea of the story if I don’t even know where the hell the kitchen is in relation to the library? Plus it saves a lot of time on boring descriptions.
I mean, it was good enough for the Golden Age of Detection. I particularly like these maps, above and below, in The Pit Prop Syndicate by Freeman Wills Crofts. Don’t ask me why I’m reading it because I don’t know. But if you like a novel where a good chunk of the action is the two heroes taking it in turns to sit in a barrel to watch pit props being smuggled, then this is for you. At least I know where the Syndicate’s depot is in relation to Ackroyd and Holt’s.
Why should I imagine it? It’s your book, you imagine it. Naturally Len Howard knows the importance of a plan in Birds as Individuals:
And don’t forget to include an accurate diagram of any chessboard, bridge hand or bell-ringing chart mentioned:

9 thoughts on “The Future of the Book: No. 1 The Floor Plan

  1. R.B.

    Funny, I immediately recognized the map from Pit Prop Syndicate, which I read some years ago. Maybe the map did help my enjoyment of that book, which should by all rights be boring, but which I felt was compelling and charming.

  2. Emma

    It’s true, it’s strangely compelling. Have you read Death of a Train, also by FWC, about wartime sabotage – that really is exciting, although the whole first section is mainly explaining about some valves

  3. Janet

    Excellent idea. Have you read The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher? Good maps there although I didn’t actually refer to them.

  4. Emma

    No, hadn’t heard of that – looks like a good tip. Although have to admit I always feel slightly queasy about reading about true crimes as entertainment… Depends how it’s done, of course.

  5. Jacob

    Robbe-Grillet’s La Jalousie/ Jealousy included a floor-plan in the English version and it was completely inaccurate.

  6. Mike

    A lot of old (like greek era) books that are published with maps in the back and I find that very helpful.

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