How do you choose travel guides? I've always been a big fan of the Eyewitness Travel Guides by DK Publishing. I like all the glossy pictures because they make me want to go see it for myself. And, to be honest, it helps me to be sure that I'm where I'm supposed to be when I get there. However, as I've been preparing to move to Istanbul (read about the whys and whens here), I've found that the Fodor's travel guide has been much more useful. I don't know if it's old age, or the fact that I actually need to know this information that has made me prefer a book bogged down with words and facts instead of pictures.
I've bought both the Fodor's Turkey travel guide as well as the Eyewitness Istanbul guide, but the Eyewitness one makes me feel like I have A.D.D. I can't concentrate on the words and find myself skipping through the book and only stopping to read the captions on pictures that catch my eye. The Fodor's seems much more informative, has plenty of tips, and gives readers the opportunity to send in their own opinions after they've been to the suggested places. I love anything that gives real people's opinions, especially when it comes to travel.
I've also been reading a Let's Go travel guide about Europe, which I have found to be quite helpful, yet brief. Granted, it's trying to cover some 24 countries in one book (1124 pages!) so brief is a good thing, but I feel like if it were the only knowledge I had of those places then I'd miss out on a lot. With the abundance of travel guides available out there, I find it difficult to know which ones to choose or trust, so I often end up picking them at random, which is why I'm curious about what you all think of the travel guide industry. What do yo do? Do you always buy the same brand? Do you even use travel guides at all? How do you go about choosing the best guide for your vacation?