I spent a happy time browsing in Blackwell's in Oxford last week (and then went on their lovely Inklings walking tour), but I was pleased to see the shop had some very interesting and eclectic displays in the main ground floor area - which was as far as I got in the time available. Among them were shelves of fiction arranged according to location, both countries and cities, (they had magnanimously even given Cambridge some representation, I noticed), and I was all set to choose one of their Oxford-set novels when it was time to go and I didn't manage to get back later in the day as I'd planned.
If a book's setting is one of the characteristics to which you pay attention, take a look at The Book Globe where Nick Sidwell and Maddy Melrose are busy putting virtual pins in a map of the world so that anyone can find a book set in a particular location. They have begun with all the Booker Prize winners and shortlistees (that's 267 novels so far) but they plan to go on to include as many books as they can so that, as they say here, users can "find a novel set in a place they are about to visit. See which ones take place close to home. Explore a city through its varied fictional counterparts. Discover a new country. Or simply bask in the fact that great storytelling is defined by an unbreakable connection, however intangible it sometimes feels, to the world we live in." It's a lovely idea, I think, and I'm looking forward to seeing the map's population of books grow.
Since we're on the subject of literary locations, here's an Oxford one for you, and from a very recently published book: above is the Founder's Tower, Magdalen College, where Paige is taken to live with Warden in Samantha Shannon's The Bone Season.
And one last thing, seeing The Book Globe has reminded me that another reading map is long, long overdue! I shall have to give it some thought.