Love to know which ones you prefer? Do you feel they are up to date and provide useful information?
Each year I buy several guide books of locations on our short list and they sit around longer than they should when they have not been selected for the next trip. How long to you keep your guide books before you toss them and get new ones for the locations you have not traveled to?
I supplement my guidebooks with lots of internet research, so I tend to keep them around until what I find online contradicts much of what is in the book. I also do much of my long range planning (and fantasizing) on line, so I only buy a book once the trip becomes concrete.
As for series, it depends on the location. I mostly rely on some combination of Rough Guides, Moon Handbooks, and Lonely Planet. I supplement these with books bought locally, especially important for guides to hiking trails and the like. I've also noticed that publishers based outside the country I'm visiting tend to have less hype about destinations in the guidebook (so I find their reviews more honest).
In response to: Msg #203200
Great feedback and comments. Do you often wonder how long it takes them to gather the information prior to publication of these guide books? Once I was using a Karen Brown guide book for a special occasion. If you are looking for a nice property to splurge her books are grand. We stayed in one of her properties and it was nice but not as nice as most of her recommendations. I left and updated email on the website when we returned from the trip giving feedback. The response I got said I should have checked the website before going because they no longer recommended that property.
I use guide books to plan my travels; mostly for logistics, to get a feel of the place such as its culture and history, and to identify the must see sights. I rarely use guide books for hotels, where I use Booking.com, or restaurants, where I just find something while walking around or when recommended by someone. Usually a restaurant with many customers indicates the food is good. I also read books, see movies, and read the Travelblogs of others who have written about their experiences at my destination. When my planning is done, I can visualize my trip which makes planning half the fun! I'm always willing to go to plan B when the situation arises such as meeting new people along the way.
In response to: Msg #203241
Great feedback Bob. We have a similar process. We rely a lot of travel bloggers for recent information and suggestions.