When I get a new book there are a few things I do first. Admire the cover, stroke the spine, smell the fresh cut paper. But there’s something I enjoy much more than that, and I don’t get to do it with every book.
I love nothing more than to open a new fantasy novel to find a sparkling new map to explore and discover new places. I’ll sit there for a while, studying the map. I read the names, attempt to pronounce them, let them slide over my tongue as they rattle around the language part of my brain.
A map in a book can tell you so much. The topography can tell you about the climate, the relation of cities and towns to each other can tell you about commerce and economy, and most importantly the names can tell you about language.
The way an author names their places can tell you a lot. It can give you an idea of the cultures than inspired the world which in turn can tell you much about the culture of characters. Different languages within the world can tell of the world’s past, how the dialects form there, and all this just from the simple little map. That is if the author is doing the real work of world building.
Maps are such a great addition to a book and I could easily sit and stare at them for hours. They’re all over my walls at home and I love to reference back to them when I read. Yes I’,m a geek, and no I’m not ashamed.
Do you like maps? What do you like about them? What is your favorite thing to see in a book? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.
From my shelf to yours,