My old travel guides. All damaged, cut, boned, recomposed ...
My old travel guides. All damaged, cut, boned, recomposed ...

Travel guide in pieces

  Between Two Journeys

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

I often cut my travel guides to the bone, to keep only the chapters that interest me... I found an alternative to the massacre: download them in PDF, on the Lonely Planet website.

Massacre with a cutter

Do you share this habit with me? Often, instead of taking a complete travel guide in my luggage, I cut up the book to keep only the chapters that interest me. Saves space and weight!

Fortunately, I found a digital alternative to this massacre: download the chapters. It's called Pick & Mix Chapters and it's happening on Lonely Planet's English site.

Pick & Mix Chapters

It works in two clicks, we only pay a few euros for the pages and we save them as a PDF file on his computer. We can then print them.

Lonely Planet

Of course, you have to be an English speaker, since it exists only in English for the moment. But for me, who is just interested in the South-West of Thailand, for my next trip to the Andaman Sea, it is ideal. As I don't want to buy another guidebook on Thailand, I jumped on this new service!

They are smart, at Lonely Planet ...


I don't have any stock in them, but for my favorite destinations in Southeast Asia, I have always found the Lonely Planet editions better done, more complete and less faulty than the famous Routard. The latter, for example, no longer had a chapter on Sulawesi in its guide Indonesia when I was preparing my trip in 2007.

The problem is that Lonely Planet guides (LP) are often very big, very bulky. For Malaysia, in 2006, I had in my bag a piece of Routard just for the east coast of the peninsula, and pieces of the LP corresponding to the east of the peninsula and Borneo. For Sulawesi, in 2007, I just took the corresponding small section in the voluminous LP Indonesia. See what's left...

My old travel guides. All damaged, cut, boned, recomposed ...
My old travel guides. All damaged, cut, boned, recomposed ...

Afterwards, I tinker with glue, Scotch tape, and even drawing clips, to reconstitute a sort of personalized guide. Often, along the way, the pages come apart and escape, as I manipulate them and make them suffer new tortures...

I dematerialized my photos, my music, my videos, without qualms. Long live digital! But now, even if I'm very happy to have my two chapters in PDF, I feel a little twinge of sadness. Because it's not quite the same anymore.

Buying a travel guide, leafing through it, annotating it, and even cutting it up with a cutter, was for me a delicious ritual, full of promises, announcing an imminent departure. A journey before the journey, in short.

With the download of chapters to the card, I lose a little of this pleasure. And I feel, regretfully, the upcoming decline of travel guides in the form of books ...


  Between Two Journeys

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  1. Yes, as I said, they're smart at LP ...

    After that, as with so many other digital files available for download, copying other than for private use and distribution are illegal. There is no DRM to lock these PDF files. I don't know how they factor the possibility of piracy into their profitability calculations...

  2. Ouch! What a mess! lol Note that my guides end up in a similar state, but because I've turned them upside down, scribbled a thousand and one notes all over the place... not to mention the crumbs that end up here and there since I often leaf through them in the restaurant! That said, I think the idea of buying only the digital files that interest us is brilliant. At the same time, I like to see my old LPs lining up in my bookshelf, like so many witnesses to the little bits of planet I've trodden... It's true that some of their bricks are heavy to lug around, but for popular destinations, there are also guides by region (I bought "Thailand - Islands and beaches" a few years ago, for example). I agree: they're the best for Asia. Although I was very frustrated by the Taiwan guide when I went to live there, since the author spoke perfect Chinese and sometimes lost "simple bilinguals" like me along the way. But hey, nothing's perfect!

  3. Hello Corinne!
    It's been a long time since I stopped by: what a facelift! Your blog looks really "pro" now. It's only the banner that I think could be improved, typo-wise. I can make suggestions (in all honor!) if you like... I thought you were in Mauritius, among "girls"...
    So I'm laughing: I'm one of those serial cutters of guides and other docs 😉 Excellent info. It won't stop me from cornering and highlighting these "extracts" in all directions... What I like is the state in which the docs come back from the trip: water, mud, fish scales, blood and sweat, info scribbled everywhere... I keep them: they're other souvenirsq of the trip...

  4. Aaaaaaargh!
    What a butchery, I thought I was going to faint when I saw this poor guide cut up!

    Their system has been around for a few years now, but they're promoting it more and more. I think that sooner or later Routard will get on board, while Le Petit Futé is already present in Google's "inside the book" searches.

    Well, as a bookseller, I don't really care about it, it's a complement, just like GPS and paper road maps. Publishers are always coming up with good ideas for relaunching a guide, or creating a new one based on a "niche" such as "nature" travel, more cultural travel, walking guides... and then, as Marie-Julie writes, what a pleasure it is to see our books piled up in the library!

    That said, our generation still mixes digital and paper (or CDs for music, DVDs for video), so the question I'm asking myself is: how will younger people consume? Will they still need to go to a bookshop to prepare their trip... or will everything be done on the net...

    So far so good 🙄

    ps: However, no more images of guide butcheries on this site, it would become disgusting 😉

  5. Thank you! This info will serve me for the tour in Australia where in fact, we only go to Perth; so, actually, buy a whole guide for just a week in Perth ... ..
    At the same time, I love travel guides, there are even times when I just want to buy the guide, even if I don't leave afterwards....But, it makes you travel and it's cheaper than a plane ticket!!!!

  6. @ Marie-Julie:
    Yes, it's carnage... But I treasure the bodies of the victims, even in pieces. Like you, I like to have my old guides in my library, like so many memories.
    Quant au fameux LP “Thailand : Islands & Beaches”, j’en ai bien évidemment un exemplaire moi aussi… Un “must have” ou un “incontournable”, comme dirait l’autre! Il est entier, celui-là, il a réchappé au cutter…

    @ Francis:
    Yes, good call on the makeover: the banner is the next project I'm planning to tackle! It doesn't really suit me as it is (visual+typo). And if you're feeling inspired, I'd love to hear what you come up with...
    For Maurice, I had to give up, alas, with great regret, for budgetary reasons, but I tell myself it's only a postponement: one day I'll go!!!!
    Finally, I'm thrilled to discover a sidekick in the blood-and-sweat-filled trash club of "serial cutters"!!!! Regardless of how we treat travel guides and docs, I'm pleased to note that we all like to keep them afterwards... It's sentimental, all that!

    @ Pac' :
    Ah, I've been waiting to hear from you, an enlightened bookseller! Your analysis is very pertinent. It's true, these digital chapters are a "complement". But until when?
    In the meantime, I can't promise to stop the butchery... But I promise I won't publish any more shocking images without prior warning for sensitive souls!

    @ Helen:
    I had a feeling this would be the kind of thing you'd be interested in, with all your touring... And what you say about guidebooks that you buy even without going to the country is very true: I've got several books like that, on India, on Madagascar, on Sri Lanka... But there's no guarantee that they won't end up as real trips! Who knows?
    : Mrgreen:

  7. Hello Corinne,

    I came across your site by chance while looking for information on dfgallery, in the comments of another article (just goes to show, we end up on blogs through a whole host of possibilities!).
    And now I've kept the tab to your site open so I can wander around a bit... I must admit I love your site, the presentation, the pictures, etc.
    I don't dive, but Asia is very attractive to me, and I've found a lot of good information on your site, especially the one on LP guides, which I'll probably use for my future trip to China.
    And then I discovered WordPress on Friday, so I hope one day to be able to make a site as beautiful and well-built as yours!
    Good continuation,


  8. Hello Adeline,

    And thank you for your compliments on the site. I have the satisfaction of seeing that all my efforts to refine it, month after month, have paid off!

    WordPress really is a fantastic tool. You just have to take the time to familiarize yourself with it, step by step. I'm planning to write a page soon (it's still "under construction" at the moment), to explain a little how I tamed the beast and give a few tips on how to use it...

    I've never been to China, but I'm glad you were interested in my little tip about downloading LPs. When you've built your blog, send me the address so I can follow your future journey!


  9. Bjr corinne,

    I'm taking note of it a little late (I ordered several). Pdfs are always useful. But then, a complete book allows you to change destination at the last minute ... 😉

  10. Yes, everyone finds it rather nice, this system of chapters in PDF. But at the same time, we are all attached to our good old paper guides!

  11. I usually manage to leave with companions who always have plenty of guides, so I travel light and don't damage mine 🙂
    Yes, because my grandmother raised me to respect books, me Madame, and when I see what you put yours through... 😡
    Anyway thanks for the find 💡

  12. Ah ... the books!

    I love my books so much, whatever they are! Even when I put them through their paces, it's actually a sign of affection on my part.


  13. Hello,
    discovered your site by chance, via He is great.

    For guides, there is the solution to put the PDFs mentioned above on an iPod Touch or iPhone, and read with a PDF reader.
    Otherwise, Lonely Planet has released an apli for iPhone OS. You can buy several guides that are suitable for reading on this screen. With an iPad (to replace the netbook) will be even more comfortable.