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Hi, checking out the various RS guidebooks. Is there any difference between the Pocket and Snapshot books?

Posted by
6669 posts

It looks like the "Snapshot" books are simply relevant chapters, covering particular regions or cities, from the country-wide books. Buying one saves you money and weight if you're just going to, say, Normandy or Edinburgh. As an alternative, you could buy the book for the whole country and cut out the pages relevant to your destination and bind them together with staples or tape or the handy binder that (of course) Rick is also happy to sell you. You'd pay more but you'd have the rest of the book for future trips.

The "Pocket" city guides are smaller volumes covering just a major city, with less detail than in the country-wide or city-focused larger guidebooks. I've found them useful in several cities. They don't list as many hotels or restaurants, or cover as many sights in as much depth, but they're very portable and easy to refer to on the fly.

This is a great example of retailing strategy -- provide one very good product (comprehensive guidebook to a country), then slice and dice it as many ways as you can to appeal to as many niches as possible in the marketplace -- people who are going just to Paris, or just to England without more of the UK, or just to Normandy without more of France.

Posted by
11294 posts

Dick is correct about the differences between Pocket and Snapshot books. The Pocket books are cut down from the full size city books. The Snapshot books are chapters excerpted, in full, from the country books. However, note that the Snapshot books are not updated as often. For instance, Rick Steves Italy 2018 is already available, but Rick Steves Snapshot Naples And The Amalfi Coast is excerpted from Rick Steves Italy 2016.

If you go to the page on this website for each book, then look at "Is This The Right Book For Me?" it explains the differences. For instance, on the Rick Steves Paris page, he compares it to the Rick Steves Pocket Paris as well as the Paris chapter of Rick Steves France. See here:

On the book's page, if you look at "Product Details," you'll see the publication date, as well as when the next edition of that title is due (handy if you're not traveling right away).

The titles where there is the greatest difference (that I've found so far) are Rick Steves France and Rick Steves Provence And The French Riviera. The latter book has MUCH more detail about the region than the general France book.