Books to curl up with: a librarian's musings

Friday, April 30, 2004


I just finished pulling travel books for a patron. It seems like an odd thing for me to blog about because you don't curl up with them, but I thought I'd talk about my two favourite travel guide producers.

The first is Rick Steves. He also has a popular PBS series Europe through the backdoor. He does a variety of guide for Europe, which focus on the traveller, who is not is sporting solid gold MasterCard. His guides are small but valuable. I love that he will prioritize things you should see. If you have 3 days see... If you have 5 ... He will also come out and say if something isn't worth seeing at all. He also visits all the B&Bs, hotels etc that he talks about. When I checked in at a B&B in York, England, he had stopped by earlier to say hi to the owner and charge his notebook battery.

Lonely Planet is another juicy plum. Besides regular travel stuff, Lonely Planet Guides are packed with the detailed history about the places you will see. The authors have usually spent some serious time visiting the places they write about, if they are not locals. It is always in my bag when I leave the hotel on a trip. Lonely Planet covers the whole world with their guides, even the less beaten path.

Neither has a big focus on shopping. You will want a Fodors or Frommers for that. Steves and Lonely Planet are great resources for the budget conscious traveller, who wants to experience the culture.


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