My interest in cartography intensifies inline with the concentration of cartography. Sheets are lovely but an atlas! With an atlas comes a frenzy of map-joy. And a pocket guide! A small, maption-packed book…with cloth-bound, foil-blocked cover…and a plethora of tipped-in fold-out maps. Man alive!
On a recent drive to Galway (a four hour slog from Belfast) I listened to an episode of the BBC's Seriously podcasts. It was a spliced together collection of recordings of Roald Dhal, talking about his past. It's great. Amongst all the things he touches on is what an adventure travel used to be. It still is, of course, but not like it was back in the day.
Obviously, you might still purchase a pocket guide for your holiday – and that guide might still be a thing of beauty, albeit super-efficiently mass-produced – but may I suggest that the reduction in adventurial magic that Mr Dahl refers to is directly proportional to the reduction in production investment in pocket guide production. Needless to say, I'm sure the cover price also reflects this difference.