I was sorting through donations getting ready for our book sale and I found this perched on a pile of textbooks. Surely no one will have this in a collection unless they are a university collection or archive. I was wrong. A couple of public libraries and, most appalling of all, a couple of school libraries have this in their collections. Of course I am not the expert on other library collections, so maybe they have a really good reason to have this lovely title. (I doubt it, but I am willing to be open minded to the possibility.) Let us review just a few of the changes since this book was published.
Alaska Statehood – 1959 (yes kids, USA only was 48 states when this was published!)
Hawaii Statehood -1959 ( a few months after Alaska)
Birth of Mary Kelly, co-founder of Awful Library Books – 1960 (nothing to do with the post, other than to illustrate the extreme AGE of the title! Thank you Holly, for the obvious joke!)
Great Britain change-over to decimalization of currency – 1971, rendering the entire part on British currency useless, not to mention the section on exchange rates.
Fall of Soviet Union – 1989, and untold other countries that have changed names and/or boundaries since 1956.
Bankruptcy of Trans World Airlines – 2001
September 11 Terrorist Attack – 2001
These were just the ones off the top of my head. Travel books go bad almost from the moment they are published. How many libraries still have New Orleans travel books that are before Katrina? Or travel before the 2004 Tsunami in South East Asia? As world events change, so does our collection. Go forth and weed the travel and geography sections.
I have included the helpful digest of travel tips to give you a quick overview. I would have loved to give you some really cool color pictures of Canadian Mounties or changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, but this book is woefully light on pictures and the only color ones are on the cover.