Small Demons: A New Site for Book Lovers to Enhance the Reading Experience

By Rich Steeves December 04, 2012

I know movie and TV lovers that have spent hours lost in the labyrinth of IMDB.com, playing their own versions of “Six Degrees,” connecting movies and actors and concepts. The same holds true for the Comic Book Data Base, where fans of that medium can peruse connections between writers and artists and characters. But what about devotees of novels?

How do we know which books mention Billy Joel, or which ones are set in Sleepy Hollow or New York, or which characters drink IPA or smoke cigars? Thanks to a legion of small demons, we now have a way to learn this valuable information – and spend countless hours putzing around on a literary website.

The site, smalldemons.com, welcomes you to the Storyverse, and is an interactive, wiki-style search engine that allows you to search thousands of books for titles, products, places and more. It is a site that no one was clamoring for, yet it is a destination that most book geeks will seek out in order to see the fabric beneath the stories, the ties that connect fictional worlds.

It’s like the Bookworld of Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series but real, on the Internet, and with fewer talking cats.

The founder of the site, Valla Vakili, came up with the idea while he was reading a book that was set in Europe. He wondered what books had to say about his vacation destination of choice. "I had a vacation planned to Madrid and Paris, and I changed my Paris leg to go to Marseilles instead," Vakili said. "I spent a week in Marseilles drinking the drinks, eating the food, and roaming the streets described in the book. I came back from that trip convinced that many of the best experiences we can find are within books.”

“And that if we could gather them all up and put them in one place, we could unlock a world of pretty incredible discovery."

I chose to start my trip down the rabbit hole by clicking on Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. I found that the book had several mentions of Bob Dylan, so I clicked on one of his albums, The Times They Are a Changin’, and I see the passage from the Jobs book. I then learn that this album is mentioned in 10 other books, including Dangerously Funny.

I also learn that Thriller is the most mentioned album and that Elvis is the most mentioned author. If I have plenty of coffee and lots of strength in my clicking fingers, I could spend all night looking at this.

Note that the site continues to grow as more and more authors and books are added, so these figures may change. Check the site out and add some of your favorite authors and spend the time you would use to read or write to explore the Storyverse.




Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Web Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Cortana/Siri vs. Alexa & The Road To Robotic Post Smartphone Era

By: Rob Enderle    5/3/2016

Last week Microsoft made it clear that Cortana would only work with Microsoft's browser and search products making people question its cross platform …

Read More

Looking For The Next iPod/Echo

By: Rob Enderle    4/29/2016

The Amazon Echo, not the Apple Watch, became the last iPod-like product largely because of a far more accessible price point, a more compelling name, …

Read More

Apple Needs Reset, Not Elon Musk

By: Doug Mohney    4/29/2016

Apple's 13 percent sales decline and subsequent stock price drop this week has lead to the usual crazy talk about how to "fix" the company. Vivek Wadh…

Read More

Is the Apple Bubble Finally Bursting?

By: Andrew Bindelglass    4/28/2016

Over the past 13 years, Apple has been one of the most successful companies in the world of tech, posting sales growths in 51 straight quarters. That …

Read More

Shared-Space Providers (Airbnb) Poised to Beat Ride-Sharers (Uber)

By: Steve Anderson    4/28/2016

Travel may be starting to make a bit of a comeback, as a new report suggests that shared-space providers like Airbnb and WeWork are on the rise.

Read More