A cartophile is not a map maker. A cartophile is someone who enjoys collecting maps. One who makes maps is a cartographer, and there are very famous cartographers whose work is sought out and highly prized today. I learned how big the world of map enthusiasts is when I attended a conference in a hotel where cartophiles where hosting a meet up. The buzz was about a barn find of books by a noted cartographer from the region. Some of the books were over 150 years old. I thought, ok, good for them, and continued on to the clinic to get the facial I had booked. I was eager to try out a new serum my esthetician recommended to help smooth the wrinkles and frown lines around my mouth.
I thought, how interesting. Here are people who value a book because it’s over 100 years old, and I’m spending hundreds of dollars trying to erase all signs of being old. Maybe I should start a meet up for wrinklephiles. Before I left the room, I chatted with a nice lady who told me she was shopping online for gifts from Abe Books. Her husband was a member of the club, and loved to give the gift of old books, maps and ephemera to family and friends. When I got home, I looked up the Abe Books site and found lots of neat things that would make great gift ideas that I would have never thought of had I not met that woman. I love old blueprints, vintage sheet music and Victoriana. I have scoured flea markets, yard sales and reuse stores looking for graphic ephemera to frame and hang. Here, I found a source of genuine articles that I could buy, and I could use a Groupon coupon code to save on my purchases as well.
Groupon has deals for Abe Books that will save as much as 50% off the price of your items, and its easy to qualify for free shipping. They even have a code good for discounted shipping to Australia and New Zealand. I found so many items for myself and others, I can’t wait for my friends to open their gifts. I even found the perfect gift for the Secret Santa gift exchange at work, and the stocking stuffers I need for my parents. My shopping has been so much fun this year. I might not own a shelf full of dusty old books and maps, but I’m glad I’m a Groupophile.