Travel :: On the Map

I’m just going to say it.  I’m a nerd, I love books and there is nothing you can do to make me feel otherwise.  I like to peruse book stores, spend hours with my nose in a book, and get lost in the narrative.  I’m veering away from film for a day to talk about a book about maps.  Yeah, I said it, a book about maps.  Who woulda thought?

My best friend gave me this book for my birthday: On the Map: A mind expanding exploration of the way the world looks

simon Garfield

It’s perfect because I love to travel so much and I happen to love history.  But the best part about this book is all of the quirky little things that you learn.  For instance, did you know that someone drew California as an island  and consequently, sailors spent years trying to sail around the “Island of California”?  Even after years of unsuccessful attempts, sailors couldn’t understand how it was such an impossibility.  All this because someone drew a personal theory on a piece of paper.  And that’s what a lot of older maps were- personal theories drawn out on paper.  Plus,  there are lots of big and ornately drawn maps, significantly reducing the actual reading done.

I may not have convinced you to read On the Mapbut  I found it fascinating to think how we get around and how our methods of navigating have changed over the years.  Again, the nerd coming out in me.  See, the thing about maps is that I think they’re beautiful and they remind me of all the places I have been and the places I hope to go.  I keep a world map on my wall and mark all the places that I’ve visited and find myself day dreaming about where I’m going to go next. Maps are a way of documenting your past and your future, which is possibly why I like them beyond their artistic quality.  It’s that documenting thing again and the stories that go with each place.

Next week I promise to get back to films, but I just had to take a day off and talk about this book, I mean the theme is “travel” this month…

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