The Death of Guidebooks

I read a sad article the other night about how Frommers will no longer be publishing hard copies of their guides. Now, I’m not a Frommers reader (maybe that’s the problem?) but it still leads me to think that other popular travel guides may make the same decisions. Unfortunately, most people get their reviews from free, user based sites on the net while the thought is that the guides are only promoting those businesses that are lining their pockets for the publicity. I’m not naive enough to think this doesn’t happen to some extent but I can that I’ve never been disappointed with the Rick Steves’ guides when traveling within Europe and I’ve always really enjoyed the DK Travel Guides because they have better pictures strewn throughout which gives me a good sense of the land. Alternatively, I find the reviews on Tripadvisor, Travelocity, etc… are often skewed by people with bad experiences since most people are more apt to write negative comments than to praise something or someone.

One of the biggest joys I get when initially planning a trip is going to the bookstore logging onto Amazon and purchasing the first of what inevitably ends up being two to three guidebooks. I like to prepared for trips and spending an additional $20 – $50 seemed a good investment when spending much more on the trip itself in order to have some sort of idea of ‘what to do’ when on the vacation. I thoroughly enjoy revisiting the guides in the years after the trip to see what I’ve highlighted/starred/underlined. Sure this can be all done on a Kindle but seeing those books with dog eared pages each day on my bookshelf also reminds me (albeit briefly) of where I’ve been and undoubtedly sparks some fond memories – perhaps the gelato in Rome, skirt steak in the Dominican or the beers throughout Belgium.

Photo of the Day – Sun Setting Over Houston

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I found a parking garage shortly before sunset and I went up to the highest possible level. Their were little holes in the wall slightly bigger than my camera so I wrapped the grip firmly around my hand and pushed the camera outside the window before snapping off three pictures in Photoshop. The colors in the sky and the reflection on the building turned out much better then I expected it to so it was a pleasant surprise when I loaded them up on my computer.

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2 thoughts on “The Death of Guidebooks

  1. I have stopped using guide books … I use my Garmin .. and their CityXplorer, best thing since sliced bread .. free from big bulky maps that I can’t fold back properly. I look for all information online .. then I feed in the addresses in the GPS and I have a model that I can put on pedestrian mode. Have made a post about it – http://wp.me/p293Pw-2wC.
    Love that photo from Houston – love how the sun reflex in the building. You have published photos from this building before and the walkway. Brilliant shot again.

    • Wow! That is a handy tool. I hate to be naive but I didn’t even know that a tool like this existed! Definitely something I’ll need to look for the next time I go abroad. Thanks for pointing me in that direction!

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