Map Addict: The Bestselling Tale of an Obsession

By Mike Parker

‘My name is Mike and I am a map addict. There, it’s said…’

Mike Parker, presenter of Radio 4’s On the Map, celebrates the richness of all things maps in this fantastic, critically-acclaimed read.

On an average day, we will consult some form of map approximately a dozen times, often without even noticing: they are a cipher for every area of human existence. At a stroke, they convey precise information about topography, layout, history, politics and power. They are the unsung heroes of life: Map Addict sings their song.

There are some fine, dry tomes out there about the history and development of cartography: this is not one of them. Mixing wry observation with hard fact and considerable research, Map Addict unearths the offbeat, the unusual and the downright pedantic in a celebration of all things maps. Combining history, travel, politics, memoir and oblique observation in a highly readable, and often very funny, style, Mike Parker confesses how his own impressive map collection was founded on a virulent teenage shoplifting habit, ponders how a good leftie can be so gung-ho about British cartographic imperialism and wages a one-man war against the moronic blandishments of the Sat Nav age.

This new edition of the beloved classic has been fully revised and updated, with a new chapter on digital maps: the good, the bad, the Google Street View.

Format: Paperback
Release Date: 08 Jun 2023
Pages: 368
ISBN: 978-0-00-735157-2
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.

”'Mike Parker offers an exhilarating celebration of the humble map.” - Mail on Sunday

”'Excellent book,” - Daily Telegraph

”'This eclectic, funny and warm book should be on the shelves of everyone who has spent hours staring at a map.” - The Great Outdoors

”'a witty entreaty to leave the satnav in the car, and to head for the hills with the Ordnance Survey.” - BBC Country File magazine

”'a highly engaging and thoughtful, haphazard and personal, meander around maps and map-related arcane.” - Daily Mail

”'Parker makes his view of cartography both interesting and funny.” - Choice magazine

”'a funny, observant and genuinely interesting book.” - Adventure Travel

”'As you'd expect, given Mike's legendary wit, this is a book that's well worth a read.” - Midland Zone

”'In fact, it is a sense of mischievousness that makes this book quite charming.” - South Wales Argus

”'Nerdy it might seem, but the author's humour and historical knowledge of mad map makers, visionary breakthroughs and a deep love of exploration make this little book a treat.” - Royston Crow

”'Parker uses his own experience to add warmth and humour to a topic that may not, at first glance, appear enticing to the average reader. Accessible and entertaining.” - Country & Border Life

”'Parker proves a witty and engaging guide” - Guardian