Without fail every time I pick up a book I'm about to read or buy, I always check to see if there is a map of some sort. No matter if it's Fantasy, Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery and so on. Even if I know there is no chance for a book to have one, I still double check. Why you ask, well it's because I'm obsessed with it.
If I had a choice for every book that is out there, there would definitely be a map involved.
When a character talks about a place they are in or one that is far away, I need to see it. Especially if they are travelling, I want to track out their journey with them, so I feel as I'm experiencing the same things they are.
I want to see for myself how far away one place is to another.
If I could be my own judge of imagination I would say that I have a very vivid one, especially when it comes to reading Fantasy novels. But for some odd reason I have trouble seeing the layout of a land in my own mind, so I need a map to help me out.
For me I find this unfortunate because maps are generally in Fantasy novels (not always), and in Historical Fiction novels with the bonus of a Glossary. For me personally I would love to see it in other genres, even if it's a map of Australia.
My favourite type of maps though are of course the ones in Fantasy novels. Not only are they extremely detailed, but it's a world that doesn't exist and was created in the brilliant mind of the author. Not only are they creating town and villagers that don't exist, but they are also creating characters and the way they live in such fine detail.
A great example of this would have to be J.R.R. Tolkien (image of Middle Earth top of page), and George R.R. Martin (image of Westeros and the Free Cities below).
If you also have an obsession with maps in books, or just want to talk about it in general, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts.