A Paper Guide Book, Really?

Photo credit:  James Joyces' Wavewords : From Ulysses  . Artists' book in flag book style by Margery S. Hellmann, Seattle, 1996.

Photo credit: James Joyces' Wavewords: From Ulysses. Artists' book in flag book style by Margery S. Hellmann, Seattle, 1996.

We will not go as far as comparing guide books to the piece of art by Margery S. Hellman, but we do have to give credits to the pioneers, be the Guide Bleu (started in 1841) to explore cultural sites, the Guide Michelin (started in 1900) for the drivers, and the Lonely Planet (started in 1973) for the back packers, and the DK Eyewitness Travel book (started in 1974) for the more visual people.

And atelier mile away arrives.

"Frommer's US sales dropped from $34m to $18m between 2006 and 2012. Lonely Planet's dropped from $25m to $18m over the same period" are the dire numbers The Economist reported on when talking about the decline of the paper guidebooks. And the nail in the coffin may have been the Guardian Article by Benji Lanyado, "Are guidebooks facing extinction?", which sounds still promising but in reality convinces you that the future is in your phone, not in a guide book.

And atelier mile away arrives.

The public will decide, as Arthur Frommer from the eponymous guide mentions in an interview he gave a short while after buying back his name from Google: "so far the public has chosen print guidebooks over e-books". And indeed, paper guides are not for everyone. Most likely it's a more romantic approach to travel, a more inspired by yourself type of travel.

And atelier mile away arrives.

The challenge of a paper book is that one has to rely on the taste and discernment of the writer and its editorial line. Is that worst or better than relying on the opinion of multiple people you don't know? It has the advantage that you can actually create trust and bond vs wondering why the opinion of multiple strangers are so diverse.

And atelier mile away arrives.

The digital vs paper research is strong, as outlined by Brandon Keim on Wire's deep article, "Why the Smart Reading Of The Future May be ... Paper"; let's put this fight to a rest. We each have our way to consume information, and both options are highly efficient in their own way - they may not appeal to the same side of the brain, they may not pull from the same emotions, they may not be for the same objective. And let's not talk about which device, book or tablet, creates a better connection to the world while you are exploring. In reality both are complimentary - atelier mile away Mementos are meant to inspire you, to sparkle the interest, to lose yourself in an experience but will gladly rely on online sources to provide you more information and help you plan and enjoy your trip.

And atelier mile away arrives.

Part of the pleasure of a trip is the anticipation and the memories, according to a study presented in the WSJ. What better way than a paper guide laying on your desk, a reminder of your trip. What better way to be inspired than to find your paper guide at the local store where you go everyday (we are not talking the bookstore here!) for a spur of the moment weekend.

We love tablets, smart phones and all devices at atelier mile away but we have a sweet spot for the smart paper guide, and we hope you will as well. It's not so much a matter of the medium, as it's the content that needs to win you over.

Welcome atelier mile away Mementos.

Photo credit cover: Michelin