Love Maps of Books.
Books are the most permanent, stable and reliable friends we have in life, so it befits us to make a love map of them. What is a love map? It's a basis for appreciation and affection. It's a map of what you love about a book. The idea comes from marriage scholar John Gottman, as a way of drawing couples closer together.
The kind of book suitable for a love map must be one you would want to spend all your life with. The writing of books is endless, but greatness remains rare. Choose only the greatest of books to do a love map of, and they will reward you with some of their magnitude.
Then, write the answers to the following questions:
1. What is the title? Pages? Divisions?
2. Who are the main characters?
3. What are the main relationships, briefly told?
4. Where is the action set in space? When is the action set in time?
5. What do the characters want most?
6. What do the characters hate most?
7. What happens in the beginning?
8. The middle?
9. The end?
10. What are the most important events in the novel? Why?
11. What is funny? Strange? Sublime? Beautiful? What affects me?
12. What foods are eaten in the book?
13. What opinions are expressed in the book? How are they still relevant?
14. What are the major tools, props, and physical markers of the book?
15. What color is the book overall, or specifically?
16. How do the characters handle conflict?
17. How do the characters recover from conflict?
18. What do the characters read or do for entertainment?
19. What jobs do the characters do? How do they occupy their time when not in the book?
20. What is to happen to the characters after the book ends? What happened to the characters before the book began?
Ask at least 20 questions, and write down the answers.
By now you will be better acquainted with the book than most literary critics, and have a more thorough knowledge with which to enjoy a re-reading of the book.
The books we love deserve to be treated with love and respect; making a love map of them is the best way to get closer to them.