Tuesday, August 25, 2009


The Bookman LOVES maps,(huge understatement), I buy them in advance of every trip I ever make, I buy more while there, and I bring them all home and add them to the hundreds I already own. I have cartons of them out in the garage as there is no longer room for them in my office/library.
I have ordnance survey maps from Britain, (the Rolls Royce of maps I reckon), maps of towns and cities from all over the world, subway maps, museum maps, walking track maps, maps of every country I’ve ever been to, world maps, maps of the pacific, I have them all.
I am a map junkie, no question. And for me and others like me Harper Collins has just published MAP ADDICT by Mike Parker, another map junkie. A serious map junkie who from way back to his days as a teenager shoplifting ordnance survey maps into his school bag has enjoyed a love affair with the humble map.

In his enormously entertaining book he mixes wry observation with facts and extensive research unearthing all sports of stuff in a celebration of all things maps. He even has chapters on maps and sex,(Carto Erotica), maps and gender (Boys’ Toys?), and you want to read him on Satnavs, GPS etc – or perhaps you don’t, he loathes them.

The only thing missing in this appealing, chunky 330 page book are some colour maps . Had I been the publisher I would have included a colour section with at least one of Parker’s beloved ordnance maps along with others. There are black & white maps and photographs scattered throughout the book but when it comes to maps you can’t beat a bit of colour!

A tale of obsession, fudge & the ordnance survey
Mike Parker
Collins - $36.99

And for the record Mike Parker has had a varied career, which at one point saw him working as a stand-up comedian. He has been widely published and also presents various travel programmes for radio and television. His books to date include the Rough Guide to Wales as well as several other guide books. He writes freelance travel pieces for most of the UK papers, including the Independent, the Independent on Sunday, the Guardian, the Sunday Times and the Mirror.


Vanda Symon said...

Oh no, not another addiction we have in common!

Kate Blackhurst said...

Interesting that people are now admitting to being map geeks.

My sister worked for the Ordnance Survey for 20-odd years and would be horrified (although secretly chuffed) to think of people shoplifting her maps. My other sister was the orienteering champion of the world, so there may be some cartographical connection?

However, I just used to wander around forests telling myself stories so I may have broken the chain. This sounds like a great book though!