Alan reveals a love of specialist reading
I love reading. I also love history and old maps, two of my favourite reading genres being historical and fantasy. That to me constitutes an enjoyable read, where I am transported back in time to distant lands brought to life through words and, often, accompanying imagery by way of maps.
As a teenager, I remember poring over lost treasure maps in the school library. One which particularly grabbed my attention was the mythical city of El Dorado, which highlighted South America and the supposed location(s) of the lost city of gold.
Expeditions by the Spanish conquistadors and Sir Walter Raleigh failed to locate El Dorado, and it wasn’t till the early 19th century that it was deemed no such place ever existed.
But that didn’t stop my teenage imagination from running amok, and at the time I mused over what I would do if I led an expedition (when you are thirteen, you feel you can conqueror the world) to the Amazon rainforest and managed to find the treasure.
To this day, I remember thinking to myself, would I keep the gold for myself, or give it to a museum? I blame the film “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” for inciting my imagination, as it was released around the same time.
For me, reading is as visual a medium as watching a film. Great storytellers can transport you to times and places through their words alone, and a map of a story world, whether fact or fiction, can only enhance the reading experience.
So whether I am reading about warring families or hazardous quests to distant cities, I can see the characters’ lands and routes before me.