|Downtown Seattle, as seen from Bainbridge Island, circa 2000|
My copies were well-thumbed. I may have mentioned in the past that I have a 'thing' for maps. I really do - no map will fall into my hands without being submitted to intense scrutiny. I am a map nerd. Lately, I've been relying on Google Maps for much of my information and navigation, and I think my neck and shoulders are beginning to rebel against my use of my iPhone and laptop and so last night, for the first time in far too long, I dug out my Times Atlas of the World. I'd forgotten how satisfying it is to sit with that large, heavy book on my lap and flip through the detailed pages. I'd forgotten how good those pages smell, too.
Technology has been great in terms of instant information at our fingertips, but sadly (for me) it's meant that I'm not taking the time out to pick up actual, physical books any more. You know, those things with paper pages?
So, the other day I decided to treat myself and order a real book, which just arrived today. It's NFT - Not For Tourists Guide to Seattle. It looks like we'll be spending some time there at some stage this year, so I figured, what the hell. Let's order a proper book and give my neck and shoulders a break from reading up about Seattle on the laptop and phone.
I chose this book because a few weeks before we moved to Los Angeles, some good (clever) friends gave us a copy of NFT Los Angeles as a farewell gift. It wasn't long before it became an invaluable resource. It's brilliant because the first (main) section of the book divides the city and surrounding areas into sectional maps, and repeats each map twice. One version has a key for 'sundries/entertainment', such as restaurants, bars, gyms. The second version has a key for 'essentials' - supermarkets, coffee shops, petrol stations, schools and landmarks. The second half of the book is devoted to the standard travel guide fare: parks, hotels, shopping centres, tourist attractions, hospitals, public transport and more.
Who needs the internet, right? This is the kind of book you can have in your bag, and not go into panic mode if your phone's batteries start to run low. When we first moved to LA, I didn't have an iPhone that I could pick up at any given moment while on the go. It was strictly wi-fi in our hotel room with our laptop, or NFT when we were out and about. It was also my bed time reading.
I'm looking forward to reading up on Seattle, and seeing how things compare with my memories from my very brief visit back in 2000... then, organising our next adventure. Bring it on.
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