Sunday, April 07, 2013

Are Travel Guidebooks Dead? Spoiler Alert: No.

The Huffington Post offers some reasons why they're better than what you get on your device.

From the post...

Paper Maps
Ebook maps are hopeless. The format just doesn't lend itself to usable maps. Once cached, Google maps on a smartphone or tablet are convenient but don't quite replace a good paper map with a map key that locates important highlights and is easy to annotate. If I need directions (as I surely will), I'm more comfortable whipping out a paper map on a busy street than asking a stranger to pour over my tablet. In fact, just taking out the map can attract a helpful local. 

Easier to Use
Unlike a novel which is read sequentially, using a travel guide involves a lot of jumping around. Flipping through paper pages or turning to a good index to find what you're looking for is easier than the tapping, searching and bookmarking in an ebook. Should I visit this village or that village? In a guidebook, I can put a finger on one page while reading another, easily comparing the two places. Not so in an ebook, let alone an app. And, it's still useful to hand-write a notation, cross out a phone number or circle an essential sight.

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