E ink is out of the question because it's slow, but how practical is a guide book on a tablet or smartphone? I like the idea of carrying only an iPad or iPhone instead of a book in my daypack, but have the nagging suspicion that they're not practical for quickly flipping back and forth between pages. Has anyone switched to an electronic format and have experiences to share?
Those e-version currently are less practical for flipping pages and reading maps. If you're used to reading text on a tiny phone, then maybe you're OK with that. Since my iPad is heavier than my paper book (or a section torn out of a book!), I personally only use my iPad at the hotel. Wi-Fi is widely available at hotels and cafes, but you can't always count on it. You may have to go to the hotel lobby to get a good signal.
For guidebooks, I've found using my Ipad (ibooks app) with a guidebook purchased from Itunes works quite well. I tried a guidebook using my kindle (I have the basic kindle) and that really didn't work. So bottomline for me is that I prefer kindle for novels and books you read front to back. I prefer Ipad for guidebooks abd other books that you access randomly.
I have an Ipad mini and I rarely use paper guidebooks now. I have used both Rick Steves and Lonely Planet books successfully. One caveat ... it is important to check the publication date to make sure you are buying a recent edition.
I use iBooks for guidebooks and novels - books I want to use but not necessarily keep in my paper library. The iBooks function is not good for maps, but I carry paper maps (country or regional Michelin maps for traveling and free paper maps from the hotel for daily sightseeing.
I used to carry guidebook pages that I knew I would need, then throw them away as I used them. I like having the e-version better in case I change my mind and want to add a destination but didn't bring those pages.