Come Fly With Me

Come Fly With Me - CoverTWA Vacation Guide and World Atlas
Trans World Airlines

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.

Come Fly With Me - Chart of travel tips


  1. Could you really buy a gun in a foreign country and bring it back here? That’s listed as something to buy in Austria.

  2. Not to mention all the travel restrictions they have these days. How much of that stuff could you buy and actually bring back into your country of origin nowadays?

  3. I’d actually be quite concerned if the water in Austria proved “very tasty. ” Just what taste should the water have?

  4. How about the reunification of Germany, unification of Vietnam, fall of the Soviet Union, division of the Balkans, free travel through the European Union, conversion of EU nations to the Euro (only the UK maintains their GBP as currency alongside the Euro), the return of Hong Kong to China, the ban on travel from the US to Cuba, the creation of Bangladesh, not to mention all the nations in Africa that have been renamed, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (it was a Belgian colony until 1960), Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia, and a British colony until 1965), Eritrea (which had been annexed by Ethiopia in 1952), Djibouti (a French colony until 1977), Algeria (a French colony until 1962), and so on.

    Even nations that are the same have changed names. Ceylon is now Sri Lanka. Burma is not Myanmar. Formosa is now Taiwan.

  5. Why a book like this may still be in a school library: When I (trained as a degreed librarian) began to work in school libraries, I soon discovered that the people who had cared for the libraries before I came were aides with no training in collection development. Not only did they have no idea how to order books, but they never weeded. In the school district where I worked, I weeded as often as I could, but I was never able to get through complete collections. Of course, when schools districts began to lose money, among the first employees to go were the librarians. After all, an aide can check books in and out, right?

  6. Tycha Brahe — We can have fun thinking about all this stuff! What about the United States turning over the Phillipines and the Panama Canal to their native populations for independent rule?

  7. Resemble a world traveler! Get your picture taken in front of one of the painted backdrops!

  8. I love the comment on Australian weather – ” no great extremes of temperature”! Obviously they have never travelled here when its 40 degrees celcius and up!

  9. Well, when I was a kid, I would’ve loved an out-of-date explanation of British currency. Would’ve made the money in books like Mary Poppins make so much more sense.

  10. In these budget-tight days, I’d see if this could be shifted into the history section if I didn’t have funds to improve that area. As a travel book it’s out of date, agreed. But as a history reference, if you have room for it, it could be useful.

  11. From a school library perspective — Not even in the history section not even in tight times – School libraries are not archival collections – Unfortunately I have removed books almost this old from some of our school collections in the last couple of years – Weeding must happen – must, must, must!

  12. tipping in Algeria: ‘same as in France’

    Algerian independence wasn’t even on the horizon when this was published.

  13. So disappointing that there are no photos! I was about to say that I’d keep it for the vintage travel photos; I have a great coffee table book of travel photos from the 60s. Oh well.

  14. Nolly–I learned how pre-decimalised British money worked from the book Ballet Shoes. I was kind of saddened to learn that knowledge wouldn’t benefit me any beyond being able to understand old books. Maybe it’s for the best though; I always had trouble remember which was 12 and which was 20 (pence per shilling and shillings per pound).

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