#TTT Pet Peeves: Maps in Books

Can you guess what books these maps are from? Let me know in the comments! I’ll post answers tomorrow with shoutouts for the most correct 🙂
As always, this great tag was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish but is now hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s prompt is about pet peeves, and whilst I can think of worse crimes (cough stickers you can’t peel off cough – find my most popular Top Ten Tuesday about bookish things I hate here) I wanted to talk about maps in books.

Maps in books are pretty – but do you actually use them? Do you really flip back to them when a new place is introduced and memorise the geographical location of it in relation to existing towns? I don’t.

Maps give you a really good overview of how a fantasy world works: whether it’s focused around cities or nature, how far the characters will travel, how developed the world is. I’ll also be judging the quality of the map – and if there isn’t a map in a fantasy book, I’ll be judging it pretty hard!

But realistically, I spend about 30 seconds admiring an aesthetic map and then skip to the part I actually bought the book for. The story! This admittedly sometimes comes back to bite me (the first half of Shadow and Bone was like a fever dream) but even if I study the map really hard, I’ll always have a different idea of how the world looks in my head.

What about you? What’s your opinion on maps in books? Does every fantasy book need one? Do you use them? How many of these maps did you manage to guess? Let me know in the comments!


2. I have this map on my wall, ignore the stickers! (Although if it helps, that’s Baz from Carry On and part of a stag 😉 ).









Published by Hundreds&Thousands

I’m a teenager (and a Hufflepuff) from Manchester. I like oversized jumpers, music that isn't on the radio anymore and books. Pretty much any book I can get my hands on but my favourites are Young Adult, fantasy and science fiction. One day, I decided to share some of my opinions on some great - and not so great - books to people around the world. And here it is! I really enjoy it and I hope you do too. The aim is hundreds and thousands of book reviews (see what I did there?) but I’m not quite up to that. Yet.

38 thoughts on “#TTT Pet Peeves: Maps in Books

  1. The literal only book that I’ve ever looked back at the map for was ACOWAR when I was lost as to where in the world the characters were at one point. I love when authors include them though! I feel like it’s something that should always be included in high fantasy books where the worlds are so large, just in case I get lost.


  2. I like a map because it’s a way of setting the scene for a fantasy world. It just feels like a touch of world building before you even start reading. But I don’t really use it very often. I don’t flip back to it as I read. Part of that could be because I’m not a very visual person.

    I’m thinking about including a map in my WIP because it does move around a lot, but I’m sort of going back and forth on it. Maybe some readers will prefer to have it, but I don’t know if I’d call it “necessary.”


  3. I love maps in books! I frequently flip back to them while reading whenever places and distances are mentioned. And if anything, they look so pretty!

    Some of these look vaguely familiar, but I only recognize #1 and #2 for sure!


  4. That Hogwarts map is so cute! I give a map the 30 cursory seconds at the beginning–but I also bookmark it so I can go back and check it out when each new place is mentioned. (This was SO helpful for Grisha books.) Great list!


  5. I usually don’t mind the maps attached to books. I do see your point that , at times, they don’t serve any purpose. But I still find it cool (HAHA). For instance, I liked the map attached to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. Maybe because it is an unfamiliar world.

    Which reminds me. When I was younger, I used to like city maps for I had the vision of putting up my own in the future. I was into reading about cities and foreign places that I spend a lot of my time reading encyclopedias. I saw the map of New York City in your post and it reminded me of those old days when I would study the grids. In an alternative world, I might have been an urban planner. 🙂


  6. I recognize the maps from the books I’ve read. 🙂 I definitely use maps in fantasy books — it helps so much to get a sense of where things are in relation to each other. I also appreciate maps when a book is talking about a place I have no familiarity with — but at the same time, just seeing that there’s a map at the beginning of a book makes me tired, because I realize there will some work involved in understanding the world I’m reading about. Great post!


  7. I’m one of the few people that actually refers back to maps whenever I read a book with new places! I may not remember the exact location, but I usually flip back and forth enough times throughout the story, that by the end of the book I have a rough idea of the layout of the lands!


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