Ask the book buyer…about books to cure your wanderlust
Summer holidays are just around the corner, so for those with a passion for travel here are some travel guides to some of my favourite places, says Jarrold book buyer Chris Rushby.
For me, buying at least one guide to the holiday region I’m going to visit, usually along with maps of the area, is an important part of holiday preparation and helps stoke the growing excitement as the trip gets closer. As people’s thoughts turn towards spring and summer holidays – and whether you’re looking for inspiration about possible destinations, or solid information on the places you’re planning to visit – it’s a great time to take advantage of the ‘buy one, get one half price’ offer on our entire range of travel maps and guides.
Here in the Jarrold book department we strive to keep in stock as broad a range of maps and guides as possible, both to the UK and the wider world. There are plenty of reasons for people still to favour physical maps and guides over their digital equivalents: the sat-nav will probably go on the blink; or you realise that app you downloaded doesn’t actually do the job as well as the hard copy guide; or you want a solid souvenir of the visit you’re making. In short, even in the digital age many people still want the physical product. And here are the top ten foreign travel destinations of 2017 – for Jarrold customers, at any rate, based on numbers of books sold by country:
9 New Zealand
Of those, Portugal showed by far the biggest year-on-year growth and I suspect Rick Stein and his long weekend trips had something of an influence on the result – that and the fact it’s still one of the best value destinations. We have a broad range of maps and guides to all those countries, of course. In giving you a flavour of the range in what follows, though, I’m shamelessly picking some of my own favourite travel destinations as a way of introducing some of the most important travel guide brands.
Trekking In The Nepal Himalaya
Chris says: "Lonely Planet started in 1972 with something of a hippy ethos, a little of which still adheres to the brand. It's our best-selling foreign guide series, suggesting there might be something of the old hippy about at least part of the Jarrold customer base. This Nepal guide certainly brings back memories: if any of you would like a chat about the Makalu Base Camp trek I'll be happy to spend several hours talking you through the finer points of the route."
Top 10 Lake District
DK Eyewitness Travel
Chris says: "Where Lonely Planet titles are comprehensive, solid, heavy on text and maps, DK guides have a very different look and feel: more spacious, highly illustrated and 'inspirational'. This Lake District guide isn't for those, like me, who've been tramping those fells for decades in the footsteps of Alfred Wainwright, but if you're going on a short break for the first time it's probably just what you need."
The Rough Guide To Yorkshire
Chris says: "Rough Guides are, somewhat like Lonely Planet, packed with information and maps. Both brands are generally pretty comprehensive and you'll form your own view about which you prefer. One criterion when selecting a guide really ought to be how recently it was published: all other things being equal I'd be inclined to pick the more up-to-date title. Meantime, as an unbiased Yorkshireman, let me suggest Yorkshire as the perfect holiday destination..."
Chris says: "Not a big user of Insight Guides, this series looks like it's seeking to do the DK Top 10 job and provide a compact, succinct summary of what you might do on a short, tailored break to a specific destination. In this Florence guide you get a map and access to an app along with the paper guide. What you don't get though - in my very arbitrary approach to judging a Florence guide - is a recommendation to stay at the Palazzo Magnani Feroni, one of the great hotel experiences of my sheltered life."
Dordogne, Berry, Limousin
Chris says: "Time was when the Michelin guides seemed the last word in cool: proper French guides, translated into (sometimes slightly stilted) English, about la France profonde, as well as other destinations. These days there's plenty of competition and the green guides seem perhaps a little stilted and outdated in some ways. Nevertheless, I don't think there's another guide to compare with the detail into which they go on the French regions, so - particularly if there's a recently published one available for your trip - they remain a mine of useful information. "
Venice Travel Handbook
Chris says: "Marco Polo are a German publisher of international guides, safely adapted and translated here for the English-speaking market. This is a heavy doorstop of a book and you'd only need about half a dozen copies to build a barrier to keep the acqua alta at bay. Still, you probably won't need this, or any other Venice guide. I've visited the city more times than I'd care to admit and I'll happily talk to you on the subject for what will almost certainly seem like days."
Ask the Jarrold book buyer
Jarrold book buyer Chris Rushby is on hand to answer all your questions about books. Whether you are looking for a particular book or author, or would like a recommendation on what to read next, Chris is your man. Find him in the book department on the lower ground or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org