It is a familiar scene across the globe. A backpacker or traveler arrives in a new city clutching the latest Lonely Planet or Frommers guide book.
I have used Lonely planets and rough guides extensively on my journey as a working nomad and despite what the purists might say I have always found them useful.
However, as someone who likes to travel light, I have always found guidebooks to be too heavy for what they are!
So I was browsing the http://www.awin1.com/awclick.php?mid=1238& Lonely Planet Shop the other day and found out a feature where you can purchase certain chapters under their pix and mix!
You basically download the chapters you want (I never use the whole books anyway) and store them as PDF format on your laptop (or online storage / email) and print them off when you need to. This could be cheaper too!
Having the ability to print out maps and locations is important so you can find places when you arrive. You don’t want to be getting your laptop out on a street corner in some big city in Latin America or India!
As PDAs, mobiles and smaller laptops become cheaper I think this will accelerate the death of the guide book as we know it and will mean the savvy nomad can carry more interesting books to read.