Great Guide #1
I feel a bit embarrassed when I visit some of my buddy bloggers, and see how well read they are. I do read, but it's always tech magazines, business magazines, the newspaper, etc. I haven't touched a work of fiction in years! My source of fantasy is the DVD. But there is something quite relaxing about books. A novel forces one to create the places and people that start with simple words on a page. And a good novel is hard to put down. I do remember that feeling.
When I find myself actually in a bookstore, the travel section is my favorite area. I am a bit of a travel guide critic. There are tons of them out there, but few shine. First, I think all travel books should be printed on color stock. What's with these paperback pulp things?! Three pages into it and I am like, where? What? Why? Don't want to go there because you've bored the shit out of me. Europe on forty bucks a day? Just stay home. (Believe me, I am frugal. But one also should contribute a little something to the local economy. I ain't going to Paris to sleep in a youth hostel, people.)
And these guides should be filled with the best photography money can buy. How can you sell a location to someone without nice photos? People that travel know the destination is always going to look different then the photo. But the photo whets your appetite and actually gets your ass packing a bag.
The Scotland Visitor Guide may be the perfect travel guide. It was discovered out of frustration one day. While visiting the locally owned book store, (when I say local, I mean four towns away, folks!) I found myself in the travel section randomly pulling travels guides off the shelf in search of one that was mildly interesting. I had worked my way through several countries when I pulled this gem off the shelf. Wow!
Much of it may have to do with the fact that is was written by the editors of Colin Baxter Photography. But it has the most stunning shots of a country I always thought might be just mildly interesting. Fantastic photos. They break the country into 14 areas, with each chapter asigned a different color. This color scheme allows for easy search, as the color is bled to the edge of the page. One can open up to whatever area of choice quickly and easily.
The attractions, which seem to be more numerous than the actual citizens, are numbered and can be located on a map at the beginning of each chapter. The attractions also have symbols to describe the ammenities. While this is nothing new, the way the book is designed is both handsome and practical. And the $20 price tag can't be beat. It is the ultimate guide to Scotland's attractions.