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Travel Guide Maven

Lee Azus, owner of Get Lost Travel Books, Maps and Gear in San Francisco, shares his favorite travel guides.

Lee Azus, globetrotter and travel author, image
Photo caption
Lee Azus knows a thing or two about travel guidebooks.

Lee Azus was a travel agent before he opened Get Lost Travel Books, Maps and Gear in San Francisco. We caught up with him the day after his return from a vacation in Iceland.

Q Did you take a guidebook on your trip?
A Three. Rough Guide, Lonely Planet, and Footprint.

Q Which one was the best?
A The Rough Guide. It felt like there was an author behind it. It had emotion.

Q There are so many guidebook series on the market. Do we really need them all?
A People travel in different ways. Some like to experience things in depth, others go for short weekend trips, still others just want to see the highlights. I wish there were more guides focused on food, cycling, and walking.

Q The best series for the budget traveler?
A I'd say Let's Go is the most popular.

Q What's your favorite guide to Las Vegas?
A Time Out is good for shopping, art, and nightlife. The information on what to do beyond seeing the big attractions is excellent.

Q What about Hawaii?
A The Revealed series. Oahu Revealed and Maui Revealed.

Q What series is your overall best seller?
A Lonely Planet, by a mile. They're good books so I can't complain.

Q How frequently do publishers update their guidebooks?
A Lonely Planet is generally every two years. Rough Guides is every two to three. Time Out does all their most popular titles annually. Frommer's and Fodor's are annual for the most part.

Photography by Dan Dion

This article was first published in September 2005. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.