Books, books, books…

Just a few of this year’s guidebook purchases…

Yes, I have the technology to browse ebooks via Kindle on my iPad, but when it comes to planning sessions or usage on a trip, nothing beats a book.

Pages of interest can be marked by the use of sticky notes whilst places of interest can be highlighted using fluorescent pens.

The book itself can be stashed away in a pocket or day bag and consulted over coffee, lunch or beer or left in the bag when you decide to follow your nose and find things out for yourself.

Series of choice for years was Lonely Planet, but examination of their Portugal guide a few years ago led me to buy the equivalent Rough Guide as it was easier to use, had a better layout and was more user friendly.

Yes, buying two guidebooks was a more expensive way of doing things, but I did notice that there were other variations – different attractions were mentioned, different places to stay and eateries too.

Since then I’ve sneaked looks at several different guidebooks to get a quick idea of what they can offer whilst planning a trip.

Books from the Bradt, Insight and Marco Polo brands have gone into the mix as has Rick Steves Italy 2020.

Now this only arrived on Saturday, but first impressions are good ones.

Yes, there are plugs for his shop and other media resources, but the info is in there – travel by trains or buses, accommodation and food suggestions to suit most budgets along with packing suggestions & timescales for visiting.

Will it be used for planning? Oh yes, but in conjunction with other guides to Italy plus some addition ideas thrown in for good measure.

Such a those from Italy Top To Toe that BBC4 are currently repeating along with one or two from Great Continental Railway Journeys and maybe a couple of ideas from The Hairy Bikers, Rick Stein and Anthony Bourdain.

About Keith Rickaby

I’m a writer and photographer who has worked in 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 I'm originally from the North East, but now based in Yorkshire and back to home life after three years with a travel and outdoor activity based retailer.
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