In shops now
Last year, Phaidon began releasing a few itsy-bitsy books focusing on some of the world’s most exciting cities. Travel guides are tricky. When you decide to book a trip to a new spot, there are plenty of books to choose from. The go-to selection was once Fodor’s, but the publishing of those books is not near as exciting as some of the other ones out there (for beautiful, obscenely in-depth ones, check out DK’s Eyewitness series). The Wallpaper* guides (which are available individually or as a collection) are a different type of reference book. For one, they can literally fit into your pocket and are quite slim. Secondly, they have tabs! That’s right, you just flip to the appropriate section while doing some lickety-split translating or looking for the American Embassy (just in case, right?). The sections in each book (20 cities to choose from) include: Landmarks, Hotels, 24 Hours, Urban Life, Architour, Shopping, Sports and Escapes. The front flap has a foldout aerial photo of the city, which points out all the landmarks to show you the lay of the land. You’ll also find plenty of colour photos, a city map (overview and detail), a few pages for notes, and neighborhood descriptions. These are the ideal books for walking around some of the globe’s hottest spots, especially when you want to leave your fanny pack at the hotel.