How did you get your India guidebook?

View Poll Results: How did you get your India guidebook?
Borrowed from friends 1 2.08%
Bought from the nearby bookstore. 21 43.75%
Ordered online (like Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com etc ). 20 41.67%
Bought a secondhand guide (book shop/online). 1 2.08%
I don’t use guidebook for India! 5 10.42%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

#1 Jan 16th, 2008, 16:49
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  • beach is offline
#1
the history of your India travel guide
#2 Jan 16th, 2008, 18:03
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#2
Gosh... I think I bought about ten books when I first thought about coming to India! Can't even remember now which worked for me and which didn't.

I did fairly quickly discover that the ones that publish by region, eg Southern India, were better than carrying around a huge tome about the whole country.
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
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#3 Jan 16th, 2008, 18:59
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#3
Bought mine at Waterstones, (deliberately) left it in Udaipur. Slowly figuring out that it isn't the way I like to travel. They're useful up to a point, and then just stifling.
#4 Jan 16th, 2008, 19:10
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#4
Got mine from Amazon, photocopied the pages I needed and left the books at home .... lot easier and lighter to carry a few sheets of paper around.
Huffing & Puffing along ... The Steamy One!
#5 Jan 16th, 2008, 21:47
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#5
Got mine as a Christmas present so glad I did as I came across the indiamike website
#6 Jan 16th, 2008, 23:24
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#6
Other - It was the wrapping used for my Christmas present (the plane ticket).
#7 Jan 17th, 2008, 00:09
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#7
Now that is a sweet gift!
#8 Jan 17th, 2008, 00:11
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#8
I really don't need them. I have an in-house travel agent to make my bookings & hotel/travel negotiations. Some of the history & anecdotes are interesting reads though .... but often the warnings/cautions that are in vogue at printing are N/A when they hit the books shops. If you are looking to follow/hang with the touristy crowds - they probably will achieve that much for you though.

Internet/IndiaMike, e-travel, laptops, their weight, etc. made them a bit redundant these days.
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~
T. S. Eliot

http://www.derekgrantdigital.com
#9 Jan 17th, 2008, 00:17
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by karuna View Post Now that is a sweet gift!
I was speachless for about an hour... I look like an idiot in the Christmas pictures but I'm not complaining!!!
#10 Jan 17th, 2008, 00:41
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#10
Don't forget the local library! I have the latest LP and Handbook from library - will return before trip as I want to wing it when I'm there. And for the next trip... they will have an updated edition!
#11 Jan 17th, 2008, 12:10
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#11

Take **ONE** guide book -- for reading during LONG waits

When I travel I take torn-out pages from ho-hum guide-books plus photocopies of GOOD city maps.

BUT, there is a lot to be said for taking ONE guide book for **"general reading"** -- just because there are SO many times when one gets stuck somewhere for HOURS, if not longer -- and there is a lot of interesting historical, geographical, etc information in a guide book. [Of course, I also recommend taking a paperback novel -- for reading, then trading.] [Yes, I know, one can walk around, meet the people, etc -- ?but at 2am in the middle of nowhere, when sleeping doesn't seem like a wise option? If you're lucky you're with another traveler and you can trade-off on reading or sleeping. Reading -- even a guide book -- sure beats sitting there, trying to stay awake doing nothing.]
#12 Jan 17th, 2008, 12:22
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#12
I bought a Foot Print India guide book (2005 Edition) from a road side stall at Flora Fountain, Mumbai for Rs. 200 (Approx 5 $) just one month back.

Ronak.
#13 Jan 18th, 2008, 03:17
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#13
I got it for christmas from my girls. I was pleasantly surprised!
#14 Jan 18th, 2008, 06:40
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#14
Me: I'd always been quite disdainful of all those "hippies" going out there, found the whole thing quite neo-colonial, living a cheap life there thanks to other people's misery & buying trinkets to sell them at 20 times the price back home, etc.

I then befriended three girls who had just arrived back from a 6-month trip, one became a long-time girlfriend. Their incessant yakking about the place like India-goers tend to do, witness this board ( ) got me inspired, so I thought I'd go check it out for myself.

And, as they say, the rest is history I reckon I went over their pics a zillion times, read their guidebook from A to Z and back again, got me the latest edition shortly before departure, heard them out night after night after night (and all the other ex-goers who tend to pop up like mushrooms once your mind is fixed on this), and with plenty a good anecdote and a belly full of nervous breakdown got on the plane. I positively hated my first few days there, then some other girls I'd met there managed to get my sorry ass moving by dragging me along on a bus, and so I was finally on the go and gradually learned to love the place.

I find these books neither very stifling nor obviously the be-all and end-all of it. Just handy for what they are, esp. for background info in my case. I just like to know a little about where I am and what I'm looking at. There's something to be said for just looking at a map and deciding where to go, however it will obviously give you little to go on but exotic-sounding names. A while ago I went somewhere else without any guidebook (just didn't get round to it) & a heavily outdated one later, was a little nervous about that but found it a very pleasant experience. Makes you talk to people (however it was to a place where I can reasonably converse). And finally discovered that tourist offices with their free maps and brochures and helpful personnel are really a blessing (and that again some local language skills come in handy here), but I'm not sure if the same can be said of India, I simply don't know. Can be good, can be bad, I hear. Hotel managers, friendly restaurant or bar personnel, chatty people at bus stops, etc., may also all be helpful.

Agree with Overlander btw, they can make for handy smalltime reading, and you'll always discover some new details and tips that you'd missed before. Also great for dreaming up future return trips while you're at it. (Moreover in Indian 2nd-class travel at least they can make for great conversation starters, as people will be eager to see them and may pass them around the entire carriage, if it's still like that. The kind with pics in them will obviously go down well. One needs to realize to many of your fellow passengers all those destinations will be just as exotic as they are to you.) As for the different series, they all have their pluses and minuses; I tend to stick to one, as knowing the layout helps to quickly find your way through any of their titles.
Last edited by machadinha; Jan 19th, 2008 at 08:48..
#15 Jan 24th, 2008, 03:59
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  • Hamacasutra is offline
#15
A previous online order was delivered with a three-month-delay... So I was offered a free-guide-of-my-choice compensation! Did not miss the chance...

Quote:
Don't forget the local library! I have the latest LP and Handbook from library - will return before trip as I want to wing it when I'm there. And for the next trip... they will have an updated edition!
Wow... mine's not so well-stocked!!! I am green with envy...
Last edited by machadinha; Jan 24th, 2008 at 13:36.. Reason: merged posts

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