The art of getting lost

Posts for Tag: books

Asia Overland, probably the best travel guide book ever

While preparing for a course on information design, I remembered a travel book called Asia Overland. This book has been out of print since 2002, but it is still my favourite. This book approached destinations from the point of someone who likes to discover a place in contrast to Lonely Planet that tried to give you detailed information. The maps were all hand drawn. There were hacks on how to hitchhike in Japan, how to enter North Korea and Iraq and several of the new countries that appeared after the break up of the Soviet Union. While the internet and apps have made travelling easy and more predictable, I miss those days when you had more random encounters and chance discoveries.

Book meets and learning about a community

Oh no, here I go again. Hearing about unrequited love, quantum physics, getting lost/missing trains and grabbing wonders from the hand of time. We always assemble to discuss what we read , but I end up learning so much more about how the themes in the books relate to the reader’s lives in a city where each generation experiences a faster change compared to the previous one.

From the “What are you reading these days” meet in Saigon.

Information hacks for people who like to read

Let me share one of my ”information consumption” hacks. I often come across books at a library or while reading an article. I am intrigued by the book, but I may not have the time to buy/borrow and read the book right then. I search for the name of the author or book on the iPhone Podcast App. There is a good chance that I will find an interview featuring the author. I can listen to the audio later on and get a gist of the authors' idea. The audio also helps me decide if I want to read the book. If you are on Android, you can use the excellent site to search for audio clips related to a particular keyword. This hack has helped me make my commutes and queuing up fun.

The cutest bookseller in the world

A part of my heart is lost in Rangoon, somewhere between street 27 and 28, across the Scotts market on Montgomery Street. This is where I met the world's cutest bookseller. Every visit to her bookshop ended up in me finding a book on Burmese history, and trying to negotiate the price down, and the cutest bookseller always winning. Don't tell her that I let her win, just to see that victorious smile. One more week, and I would have ended up as the leading authority on the nation's history.  You can travel half the world but there is no point, if you can't make a little girl smile.

Good Day Books, a delightful little English bookshop in Tokyo

We love small independent bookstores. And this one is special as I find that they have a dedicated espionage section. This bookstore is centrally located just a couple of minutes walk from Gotanda station. I was happy to find a 1960s travelogue on Russia. 

Walking direction from Gotanda Station. Keep walking along the train line towards Meguro and you will see the building.