do guide books change over time?

#1 Dec 28th, 2014, 02:55
Join Date:
Feb 2009
Location:
Brooklyn, USA
Posts:
89
  • discoross is offline
#1
Hi all,
My first trip to India was in 2009, and I used this website for planning trains/recommendations and the Rough Guide to India (2008 or 2009 printing) for hostels/homestays and sites to visit. I thought the book was perfect for my budget, and it crucially was not the Lonely Planet, so it simply had me walk past the locations where I saw multiple groups with their nose in LP.

I just booked another flight out there, and I was wondering about a book to go with this time. Generally speaking, if I were to get an updated version of the Rough Guides, or any other book for that matter, would they change much from 2009? For example if I go to Varanasi again will the book(s) recommend the exact same places as last time, or are they frequently updated?
#2 Dec 28th, 2014, 03:18
Join Date:
Sep 2001
Location:
Land that shakes and bakes.
Posts:
15,821
  • edwardseco is offline
#2
Prices would be vastly greater and many places gone to history. Information is the cheapest thing you carry...
#3 Dec 28th, 2014, 03:32
Join Date:
Nov 2003
Location:
melbourne, australia
Posts:
1,181
  • unclelach is offline
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by discoross View Post Hi all,
My first trip to India was in 2009, and I used this website for planning trains/recommendations and the Rough Guide to India (2008 or 2009 printing) for hostels/homestays and sites to visit. I thought the book was perfect for my budget, and it crucially was not the Lonely Planet, so it simply had me walk past the locations where I saw multiple groups with their nose in LP.

?
discoross, Just a passing remark about guide books: Have spent three months in India recently. It was unusual to see anyone reading a traditional travel guide. I think that electronic guides in different forms have taken over. Everyone seemed to have a tablet, smart phone, Kindle or whatever.

I think that online hotel/guesthouse guides cover many people's needs.

In Delhi I bought the latest LP as much because I had always used one in India and had found that guide part of the fun.

Regret that I can't answer your question about frequency of updating guidebook content.
This space intentionally left blank.
#4 Dec 28th, 2014, 03:43
Join Date:
Aug 2006
Location:
Homeless
Posts:
20,559
  • nycank is offline
#4
Good guidebooks have static information and dynamic. Prices, hotels, and other things change and they put it in a different section. Be it Fodor's or Rough guides.

Dynamic information is best availed online.
#5 Dec 28th, 2014, 03:44
Join Date:
Aug 2003
Location:
In the Middle of Nowhere, The Center of Everything
Posts:
2,755
Send a message via Yahoo to Darmabum
  • Darmabum is offline
#5
And just a little something about "updating": I watched a guidebook editor/writer come into my guesthouse on my last trip to Varanasi. The writer met the owner in the courtyard, talked with him for five minutes, scratched a few notes, then left. The writer never even went into the building. I can attest to the honesty of that particular guesthouse owner, but with so little time spent, so little effort spent . . . it seems the owner/managers words are enough to become "gospel".

My own most dynamic information is always garnered from the people I meet on the road, coming from where I'm going.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure - Marianne Williamson
#6 Dec 28th, 2014, 03:51
Join Date:
Aug 2006
Location:
Homeless
Posts:
20,559
  • nycank is offline
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darmabum View Post I watched a guidebook editor/writer come into my guesthouse on my last trip to Varanasi. The writer met the owner in the courtyard, talked with him for five minutes, scratched a few notes, then left. .
I have stories. But not as yours, but guidebook authors quizzing us in a watering hole that carry all NFL/NBA/NBA games in latin america. Many are honest enough to say "They don't pay me enough"

I wish those pre internet era, where you did many a visit to the libraries and actually used MaBell to make calls to verify your booking
#7 Dec 28th, 2014, 05:51
Join Date:
Aug 2003
Location:
In the Middle of Nowhere, The Center of Everything
Posts:
2,755
Send a message via Yahoo to Darmabum
  • Darmabum is offline
#7
I came into travel near the beginning of "The Guidebook"/LP, etc era. But my own personal favorites were the old Nagels Red Guides - history, art, culture, etc . . . and nothing else. You showed up and you figured it out. I miss those days. Too many travelers these days seem to need to have it 'figured out' (and often excruciatingly so) before they 'show up'.
#8 Dec 28th, 2014, 07:23
Join Date:
Sep 2001
Location:
Land that shakes and bakes.
Posts:
15,821
  • edwardseco is offline
#8
Nothing beats the DK Guide for mind blowing images to enlighten the experience or for exercise in carrying the weight. To beat that in either category you have to go to an Apple 5K (power is not assured)..
#9 Dec 28th, 2014, 07:38
Join Date:
Jan 2010
Location:
London (UK) (Current) & Pali Hill, Bombay (IN)
Posts:
8,904
  • ViShVa is offline
#9
Dorling Kindersley are brilliant bedside reading! Lavish.
#10 Dec 28th, 2014, 07:43
Join Date:
Feb 2009
Location:
Brooklyn, USA
Posts:
89
  • discoross is offline
#10
Thanks for all the tips! (and grandfatherly "in my day..." )

Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardseco View Post Prices would be vastly greater and many places gone to history. Information is the cheapest thing you carry...
Have prices substantially gone up across the country? Or do you mean that those spots that are listed in guides (understandably) started to charge more?

Quote:
Originally Posted by unclelach View Post discoross, Just a passing remark about guide books: Have spent three months in India recently. It was unusual to see anyone reading a traditional travel guide. I think that electronic guides in different forms have taken over. Everyone seemed to have a tablet, smart phone, Kindle or whatever.

I think that online hotel/guesthouse guides cover many people's needs.
I guess I'm old fashioned. I'll have a cheap ($20) tablet with me for pleasure reading, and I plan to get accommodations for my first night in each place online. But I find a book to be good for formulating a primitive route before leaving, looking up details when I'm there (where is that taxi stand again?), and finally picking specific destinations once I'm in a city.

My trip isn't as long as I'd like, so I aim to avoid walking around an un-interesting area if I could instead be guided to more substantive places. I just don't want to be guided to the exact same spots as my previous trip.

In light of this, maybe I can ask a simpler question - to avoid seeing following the same path as my previous trip, would you recommend getting an updated version of the same book that previously helped solidify a great trip OR getting a different book (hopefully not LP)?

Darmabum - is the Nagel's red guides? Hardcover 800 pages probably won't make the cut.
#11 Dec 28th, 2014, 10:04
Join Date:
Aug 2003
Location:
In the Middle of Nowhere, The Center of Everything
Posts:
2,755
Send a message via Yahoo to Darmabum
  • Darmabum is offline
#11
discoross . . . I may have been one of the last vestiges of Victorian travel, during my two six month stays in Varanasi. Most of my clothes I have made in Varanasi. I know a great tailor. Most of my luggage then, are books. I read widely at home, and cannot be without my own personal "canon," the Nagels Guide to India, among them. Oh, and about your worry of getting "led" to the same places . . . go solo . . . get lost . . . there is only one road you need take to "get where you're going" . . . but you can get lost thousands of ways . . . (I've always made it 'back', and am always better for it)
#12 Dec 28th, 2014, 11:12
Join Date:
Nov 2003
Location:
melbourne, australia
Posts:
1,181
  • unclelach is offline
#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by discoross View Post
In light of this, maybe I can ask a simpler question - to avoid seeing following the same path as my previous trip, would you recommend getting an updated version of the same book that previously helped solidify a great trip OR getting a different book (hopefully not LP)?

.
The updates usually cover accommodation, cafes and transport. Sometimes the guides work in "new" places overlooked in earlier editions. It can be effective to do a deal of research beforehand about the major destinations. The research might reflect your major interests e.g. Indian belief systems, yoga, architecture, sculpture, painting, handcrafts, textiles, food, languages, historic railways etc. Understandably, some excellent references are published only in India from which follows some bookshop browsing and buying on the spot.
#13 Dec 28th, 2014, 13:57
Join Date:
Sep 2001
Location:
Land that shakes and bakes.
Posts:
15,821
  • edwardseco is offline
#13
Inflation is high in India and on a compounded basis its amazing! I lived, room & board PG, for 800/month in Delhi at one time. Now servants are paid 4,000/month I suppose. Actually, I still have a reasonable place to stay in Delhi because of a an investment that all in my family scorned me for making many years ago (just checked up on it). However, its great to stay with relatives that know the fine details of History & its literature and know how to cook Rogan Josh..
Last edited by edwardseco; Dec 29th, 2014 at 01:01..
#14 Dec 28th, 2014, 20:56
Join Date:
Oct 2010
Location:
England
Posts:
169
  • redbutton is offline
#14
On my last trip to India, I used my old edition of Lonely Planet (at the time I think 3 years old). Aside from factoring in hotel price inflation as others have mentioned above, it was perfectly fine. That said, I'll usually mix it up a bit.. I think generally speaking perhaps slightly more than half of the hotels I stay in are guidebook recommendations and others are hotels I've learned about from others or just stumbled across.

The key thing to remember is that guidebook writers can't include every guesthouse in their book. There will be some just as good, if not better, than the ones in the book that have missed out. If you go in with an open mind you can't really go wrong, though the book recommendations can be invaluable when you're short on time/can't be bothered walking the streets/have seen a write up or review in them that appeals.

In short, the guidebooks are absolutely invaluable, but not gospel. Obviously the older they are, the less accurate they become, but you can get by with older editions, so long as you've done your research on sites like this and are prepared for some of the info to be inaccurate.

Similar Threads

Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views Forum
Hampi Guide Books Apr 22nd, 2011 10:32 1 2106 Karnataka
Guide Books Sep 22nd, 2010 00:22 5 1178 Packing Tips for India travel
Jaisalmer - Update to guide books.. May 5th, 2007 17:58 7 1520 Rajasthan
Guide books: is up-to-date important? Aug 31st, 2003 05:31 15 3192 Books, Music, and Movies


Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2018
Page Load Success