In addition to an unwieldy collection of forks, I have a small collection of these old guidebooks. I first heard of them in A Room with a View, wherein intrepid traveler and lady novelist Eleanor Lavish despises both the books and the tourists who use them– proclaiming every copy should be “flung into the Arno.” (Think Lonely Planet for the dwindling allowances of the Landed Gentry abroad in Edwardian times.) Founded in 1827, these guidebooks are still being published, though in recent years they’ve come to look much the same as any other paperback guide. The one above on the far right is the youngest in my collection, but interesting as it is a 1960s Berlin guidebook–  dead middle of the years of the wall. They all have brilliant maps that unfold and are just beautifully bound, considering they are pocket-sized books meant to be updated and reprinted fairly often.

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