Words to travel the world

Aloha explorers, book and map lovers!

Some books take a lifetime to write. “Atlas Maior of 1665” was quite literally one of them, as it was originally pioneered by Willem Blaeu in 1606 and completed posthumously by his son Joan Blaeu in 1665. At the time it was considered to be one of the most expensive books in the world.

The first time we saw this incredible book was in the old Princeville Hotel lounge. It was by far the most exciting compilation of maps we had ever seen. We sought one for ourselves and found it to be out of print. Fortunately, the high-quality publisher Taschen has reprinted this masterpiece!

While today we enjoy the benefits of precision mapping via satellites, there is something truly beautiful and awe-inspiring in looking at the meticulously hand-crafted works of art that used to give people their sense of place in the world.

With hundreds of pages of beautifully colored maps, detailed with every mountain, church, village and city, this atlas is a delight to peruse, each page a thrill to behold. Included with each of the 592 maps are captions explaining the relevance and context of each one.

Additionally, University of Amsterdam’s historical cartographer (and assistant Professor of Human Geography) Peter van der Krogt provides us with an excellent preface that explains the origins, history and influence of the “Atlas Maior” upon the world.

This newest hardcover reproduction includes a slipcover which looks identical to the cover of the book, but also has a unique feature where the slipcover converts into a bookstand! This way you can display “Atlas Maior” as an instant conversation starter on your coffee table or office.


Ed and Cynthia Justus are owners of The Bookstore in Hanapepe.


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