Travel books as gifts: From coffee table to memoir

Associated Press Published: November 28, 2012
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Travel bookstores have fallen on hard times with the rise of digital travel content and online book sales, but the Globe Corner bookstore, which closed its Harvard Square location in 2011, has gotten a second life as the Globe Corner Travel Annex at Brookline Booksmith, an independent store in Brookline, Mass. The store has a travel section in its online holiday gift guide at http://www.brooklinebooksmith.com/gifts2012/travel.html .

Gift suggestions from Globe Corner manager Jodie Vinson include "The Travels of Marco Polo" (Sterling Signature, $40) which Vinson describes as a "stunning new illustrated version of the classic travel text, complete with over 200 paintings, maps, illuminated manuscripts, and photographs" and "Pictures from Italy" by Charles Dickens (Tara Books, $16).

"It can be surprising how many of our favorite novelists were travel writers as well," said Vinson.

Vinson also offers an unusual idea for a stocking-stuffer: Crumpled City Maps, $20, available for three dozen international cities. "These maps will fit snugly in the toe of any stocking and you don't have to worry about messing up the creases!" she said, noting that the maps are waterproof and made from paper that is designed to be stuffed in your pocket.

Finally, for a traveler with the right sense of humor, "Gross America: Your Coast-to-Coast Guide to All Things Gross," by Richard Faulk (Tarcher/Penguin, $14) offers quirky destinations like a walk-through model of human intestines in Houston and the preserved brains at Philadelphia's Mutter Museum.