Reading matters…

One of the pet peeves that I (and several others) have on travel forums is the constant flow of posts that are placed in the wrong category completely or are expecting fellow posters to sort out and virtually organise a trip for the person making the original post.

For the most part, my initial comment is to suggest that the original poster buys an appropriate guidebook to the country or area that they’re visiting (one of the forum sites I frequent belongs to a well-known guidebook publisher) and then they can take a look at the suggestions offered in the book or to come up with their own suggestions based upon what they’ve read.

Some take up this suggestion and thank myself or others that have made similar suggestions whilst others still expect others to do their homework for them by posting multiple questions on the forums over a number of months, even though the answers could have been at their fingertips all along if they had taken the suggestion and bought a guidebook.

We’re currently researching two trips at the moment and there’s four paper country or area guides on the desk in front of me for the first trip and two paper guidebooks (plus several free or paid for books on my Kindle) that are already being looked at for the second trip later in the year.

Although I have accessed some of those Kindle books on my iPad, I suspect that some information may be copied into a notebook for use in country along with the appropriate paper book that we’ve taken along with us.

Paper guidebooks don’t need to be charged up or need a signal to operate. Yes, gadgets can operate offline, but if the power goes down where you’re staying, the battery’s kaput or the smartphone/dumbass phone/tablet/laptop or whatever breaks down or gets nicked, you may well be up S**t Creek without a paddle.

And that’s why we still love paper guidebooks, even though both of us were early adopters in terms of computer use and ownership of mobile phones and then smartphones.

And why Caroline was a bit put out last week when her Android smartphone stopped charging when the battery carked it a few minutes after she’d plugged the charger in.

The network shop in our nearest city were great on the customer service front when we went in about it, but we’re still waiting for the phone brand’s customer service department to email the return information that they promised to send Caroline six days ago. D’oh!

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About Keith Rickaby

Fiftysomething writer and occasional photographer who has worked in both the tailoring trade and the outdoor/travel clothing, equipment and footwear game. Past lives include working as an outdoor instructor, managing three bands and doing PR work through an agency or my own contacts. Was a student in the mid-90s and whilst I'm originally from the North East, I'm now firmly based in't Yorkshire...
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