I'm going for a week for a work trip, but would like to make good use of my down-time. At first I was tempted to pick-up the pocket guide since it is newer, but now am wondering if it will mostly include the sites and places that are pretty well known. I am looking for a more off-the beaten track experience since I have done most of the must-dos. Should I get the full sized RS Paris book or the Pocket?
It's pretty likely the pocket Paris is excerpts from the full sized book, based on the publication dates (full version Sept. 2022, pocket is July 2023). You can look at the table of contents for both e-book versions on Amazon (it has a "look inside" feature for Kindle books) to see what is covered in each.
I'm a little biased, perhaps, but aren't Michelin Green Guide to Paris going to be a lot better, especially for someone who's not a first timer?
I don't think RS contains much by way of "off the beaten path". Much more of a how-to-see-the-majors in his guides.
Ask you question more broadly here or on TripAdvisor: What to see for Paris off the beaten path experiences. Include your interests and you are likely to get a long list from seasoned travelers.
Can you get guides at your local library? Browse through some and check the websites. Or, go to TripAdvisors "Things to Do" page for Paris.
edit - I so agree with Muriel. Michelin is still one of my favorite guides for most places in the world - certainly for France. Many like DK Eyewitness Guides also for the photos - such tempting sights!
Michelin would be very comprehensive, so include more "off the beaten path" options. DK is indeed beautiful but also very heavy, and its hotel and restaurant recommendations tend to be on the expensive side. As for the RS publications, the pocket guide won't have anything "off the path," and the full guide won't have much. After all, the path is beaten because guidebooks (including RS) steer people to particular sights -- most of which are popular for good reasons.
You might try Lonely Planet, which is very comprehensive. Better still, check some recent guidebooks out of your library, look for sights that interest you and might not be so well known, and then photocopy those pages or make notes you can use on your trip. Your past experience with Paris will help you with transportation, airport logistics, and other things a guidebook is good for.
If your 2nd trip to Paris, then agree with more comprehensive guide. If you've visited multiple times, then I would google "Paris visitors guide" or "Paris this week" and look for sites which aren't totally mainstream or only selling mainstream tickets/tours. Here's some "what's happening locally" links I found:
Hopefully Bets(?) or other French forum members can also give you some ideas!
The world is a pretty different place since 4 years ago. And I'd be surprised if you covered all the sights the first time. I'd buy an updated full RS book on the kindle app, so you've got plenty of up to date info on your phone. Then go see the top things you missed last time! For example, we finally climbed the Pantheon dome on our 4th trip...and it was terrific.
No one ever mentions this, there are still two other companies making tour books. Fodors and Frommers. Towards the end of the book they generally have sections like If you're already seen everything, or you're staying more than X days.
I took my RS guide and a Frommers last time and they complement each other very well. Frommers also gives up a lot of good free info on their websites (but hell, buy the book and help support the cause).