/ Guidebook formats; portrait versus landscape.

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The Pylon King on 01 Nov 2012

Is there any particular reason why bouldering guidebooks tend to be in landscape format?

Are landscape format guidebooks popular or unpopular worldwide?

Why?
Offwidth - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies:

I think you mean some bouldering guidebooks.
deacondeacon - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies: Landscape books look nicer on the coffee but are crap at the crag, they fall apart much easier. Although the font 7+8's combatted this with a nice hard wearing cover. Tbh I'm looking forward to the day they're all on my phone.
deacondeacon - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to deacondeacon: Coffee table*
The Pylon King on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Offwidth:

i used the word 'tend'
The Pylon King on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to deacondeacon:
> Tbh I'm looking forward to the day they're all on my phone.

A sad day... a mobile phone wont look good on a coffee table.
Monk - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to deacondeacon:
> (In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies) Landscape books look nicer on the coffee but are crap at the crag, they fall apart much easier. Although the font 7+8's combatted this with a nice hard wearing cover. Tbh I'm looking forward to the day they're all on my phone.

That's interesting. I have to admit that although I love the quantity of data on my phone, I don't like using it at the crag in anything less than the most benign conditions. I don't want my phone to get scratched up, filled with mud, wet, dropped onto rocks etc (which all my guides get, regardless of how careful I am). Plus, in my experience I think that my phone is too small to really do a topo justice. I guess technology will advance though, so when a robust, possibly flexible cheap tablet with great battery life comes out (I guess along Kindle lines), I will probably ditch the paper guides.

In the meantime, I much prefer portrait guides. Size of the guide is also a consideration - I don't mind a larger giude for single pitch venues, but multipitch guides should definitely be small enough (both in page size and thickness) to be comfortably carried on the route.

Although I don't particularly like the landscape format, I can definitely see the advantages on some occasions. For example, you can get a decent topo of a whole face of a boulder with descriptions on the same/facing page. I'm not convinced that this is used to best advantage all the time though. Even the traditional guides tend to print crag topos landscape, so I guess it may have evolved from there.
deacondeacon - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies:
> (In reply to deacondeacon)
> [...]
>
> A sad day... a mobile phone wont look good on a coffee table.

You're right but neither will my battered guide books. Don't get me wrong I love guidebooks and I read them every day but i'd much rather have a copy of classic rock on the coffee table rather than my Stanage definitive with the first 15 pages missing.


Iain Peters - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to deacondeacon:
> (In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies)
> [...]
>
> .. i'd much rather have a copy of classic rock on the coffee table rather than my Stanage definitive with the first 15 pages missing.

Aye, and there's the rub. Personally, I look forward to the day when I can have a larger format, better illustrated, more informative guide, in the Hard/Classic Rock style that stays at home whilst out on the crags I have a single, compact yet robust tablet/iPad device loaded with all the relevant apps and probably a half decent camera included. After all, these days most people happily climb with an expensive camera strapped to their harness, so what's the difference? The technology will also allow guides to be continuously compiled in real time, thus resolving that perennial problem of the lengthy, up to 10+ years in some cases, wait between editions. Bring it on.

How the various publishers, club and commercial, will deal with this challenge over the next few years will be most interesting. My guess is that like epublishing, some will succeed and others fall by the wayside.

Mutl3y - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies: I think this is an excellent question and one I'm very glad you've asked. I don't know why bouldering guidebooks tend to be landscape - and personally I don't care for that format much - but I very much look forward to someone giving us a decent answer. Cheers.
The Pylon King on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Mutl3y:
> (In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies) I think this is an excellent question and one I'm very glad you've asked. I don't know why bouldering guidebooks tend to be landscape - and personally I don't care for that format much - but I very much look forward to someone giving us a decent answer. Cheers.

+1
The Pylon King on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to deacondeacon:

Yes i agree but I think it would be nice to have the hard copy at home (nice big format) with app version for at the crag.
deacondeacon - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Peters: exactly, on a multipitch route i'd much rather have my phone in a pocket than a guidebook hanging from my harness. access details would be up to date, rockfall and in-situ gear history would be relevant. I quite often go soloing using the ukc logbooks, and it means the difference between carrying my gear in pockets or having to take a rucksack.
It's inevitable anyway and bouldering guides are starting to come through as phone apps already.
deacondeacon - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies: yeah that's what i'd like to see ideally, i'd love to keep all my guidebooks at home in pristine condition, they deserve more than being stuffed in the bottom of a sack with mouldy sandwiches and being dropped in puddles :)
The Pylon King on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to deacondeacon:

Hopefully apps wont be the end of books.
Its a bit like the death of the album because of digital download. Sad.
All out convenience at the cost of soul.
The Pylon King on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to deacondeacon:
> (In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies) yeah that's what i'd like to see ideally, i'd love to keep all my guidebooks at home in pristine condition, they deserve more than being stuffed in the bottom of a sack with mouldy sandwiches and being dropped in puddles :)

There is something nice about tatty guidebooks though, they tell a story.
deacondeacon - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies: Mine only tell me half the story now, my Eastern grit lost it's back cover about christmas time, then lost the index slowly throughout the spring, and now I can't go to Black Rocks because thats missing too.
I think It may be a sign to go and climb on some different rock, I've still got too many guidebooks that have never been out of the house :)
jkarran - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies:

So they fall apart quicker and need to be replaced sooner :)
jk
The Pylon King on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to deacondeacon:

Yeah, i have to admit i've got several guides with out covers now - one because i had a major strop at the crag and ripped it to shreds! :( oops!
Iain Peters - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies:
> (In reply to deacondeacon)
>
>
> Its a bit like the death of the album because of digital download. Sad.
> All out convenience at the cost of soul.

Actually Mark, vinyl is making a bit of a comeback these days. OK it's a niche market but it lives on. Same with print. We're all voracious readers in this family and our kindle books and their print versions are equally important. I think the soul of climbing is still with us and will remain.

ads.ukclimbing.com
The Pylon King on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Peters:
> (In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies)
> [...]
>
> Actually Mark, vinyl is making a bit of a comeback these days. OK it's a niche market but it lives on.

Yes i know about vinyl, what i mean is peole dont buy the whole album on download now - just the individual tracks - just like down loading the odd chapter from a book,



> Same with print. We're all voracious readers in this family and our kindle books and their print versions are equally important. I think the soul of climbing is still with us and will remain.

I agree, i just really hope we don't lose coffee table climbing books/guides.

martinph78 on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies: I scan and print my guides in landscape format, "flip chart" style. For local crags I'll laminate them as they get used a lot. For needle ridge I printed 3 double sided sheets of A4 and stuffed them in my pocket. Much lighter/more convenient than having a guidebook.

Sure most of us have the ability to scan or photograph a guidebook and just take the pages we need?

I do take the guidebook with me, in the car, in case we decide to go somewhere else then it is on hand.

Tom Last - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin1978:

Yeah I do this too, at least for mountain routesm all my SMC guides are in good nick as I just photograph the relevent pages day to day.
Iain Peters - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin1978:
> (In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies) I scan and print my guides in landscape format, "flip chart" style. For local crags I'll laminate them as they get used a lot. For needle ridge I printed 3 double sided sheets of A4 and stuffed them in my pocket. Much lighter/more convenient than having a guidebook.
>

Yes, but compare the cost of printing and laminating any route or guidebook page you need to having it available (along with x thousand other routes) a quick click away.

Let's say I intend to have a w/e in N Wales, and on arrival, the weather craps out. I'll probably have a bunch of local guides but if I then find out that it's sunny on Eastern Grit or in Yorkshire I'm stuffed. Not so when it's all available on my phone/tablet.

Bulls Crack - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies:

Landscape one tend to be too floppy ie the spine/page areea ratio is not that proactical for a usuable guide
The Pylon King on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Peters:
> (In reply to Martin1978)

> ......Not so when it's all available on my phone/tablet.

All eggs in one basket?

What happens if it breaks?
deacondeacon - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies: You use your log in and password to view it on your partners phone or another climber at the crags' phone. Phones breaking are a rarity in the same way that dropping a guidebook into the sea for it never to be seen again is a rarity.
OK, on the very rare chance that your phone breaks while out climbing you'll just have to deal with it that day :)
I think the main downside would be winter climbing when batteries are a bit crap because of the cold and phones are crap with gloves on. Then nothing will beat a nice laminated route description.
I don't winter climb so this doesn't affect me.
oddtoast on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies:
What I'd like to know is why guide books are not spiral/ring bound. It would be much better to stay on one page when you put the book down to climb something than the current state of losing where you are all the time and fighting with the tight perfect (i.e glue) binding.
In reply to oddtoast:
> (In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies)
> What I'd like to know is why guide books are not spiral/ring bound. It would be much better to stay on one page when you put the book down to climb something than the current state of losing where you are all the time and fighting with the tight perfect (i.e glue) binding.

Cost - pure and simple. Our books have flaps which help to keep your page marked.


Chris
The Pylon King on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to deacondeacon:


Hmmm, i am not totally convinced, i have witnessed quite a few instances where mobile phones have failed for whatever reason at the crag but never had a guidebook fail on me.

I think it will all end of on some sort of device for convenience but somehow i think it will take something away.

I just hope we don't lose inspiring books for the sake of convenience.
Bulls Crack - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies:
> (In reply to deacondeacon)
>
>
> Hmmm, i am not totally convinced, i have witnessed quite a few instances where mobile phones have failed for whatever reason at the crag but never had a guidebook fail on me.
>
I've had one fall on me
deacondeacon - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs: Care to share a guidebook writers thoughts on e-guidebooks Chris? Is at as inevitable as it appears?

In reply to deacondeacon:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs) Care to share a guidebook writers thoughts on e-guidebooks Chris? Is at as inevitable as it appears?

Well Alan is, and he is usually on the ball! I know he is already developing Apps like the recent Gower guide:

http://www.rockfax.com/news/2012/10/15/gower-sport-climbing-mobile-edition/

Personally I would rather not take a 500 piece of electronics to the crag and risk dropping it or getting it rained on. But then - I am old fashioned!

Chris
martinph78 on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Peters: I have a JCB site phone - it doesn't do internet.

Sat at the crag on a sunny day with your mates then a phone/tablet is probably fine. I'd never want to take a phone or tablet on a multi-pitch.

The cost of laminating the couple I use most is pennies. And for the use they get well worth it. For the paper printed ones, well a trip to the Lakes costs me quite a lot as it is, an extra 3p for a double sided print-out really isn't much, and far less than the cost of dropping an i-phone off the second pitch ;)

I'm all for having pdf route guides online, would make my life much easier. I'd be able to print directly rather than scanning/copying/printing. Steve's "climbonline" has some excellent pdf's for a few local crags. Again, I'll print and laminate these as they will get plenty of use over the years.

Each to their own I guess, but a few sheets of A4 in my pocket seems far less faff than using a tablet when cragging/climbing.
Iain Peters - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies:
> (In reply to deacondeacon)
>
>
> Hmmm, i am not totally convinced, i have witnessed quite a few instances where mobile phones have failed for whatever reason at the crag but never had a guidebook fail on me.
>
> I just hope we don't lose inspiring books for the sake of convenience.

I'm sure we won't.

Of course mobiles will fail, but coverage and reliability is bound to improve. Print guidebooks (or should I say authors(!) are not infallible; an inaccurate description/grade either due to human error or natural causes can remain for many years, whereas an on-line guide can be instantly up-dated or amended. On my smart phone, I can already choose between landscape and portrait, same with most ereaders.

Iain Peters - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin1978:
> (In reply to Iain Peters) I have a JCB site phone - it doesn't do internet.
>
> Sat at the crag on a sunny day with your mates then a phone/tablet is probably fine. I'd never want to take a phone or tablet on a multi-pitch.
>
> The cost of laminating the couple I use most is pennies. And for the use they get well worth it. For the paper printed ones, well a trip to the Lakes costs me quite a lot as it is, an extra 3p for a double sided print-out really isn't much, and far less than the cost of dropping an i-phone off the second pitch ;)
>

Multiply 3p by the number of routes you might want to climb over a period of 10 years say - could add up to a tidy sum. The students at my daughter's college now have to pay to use the printer, so tutors and students hardly ever use print. How many times do you see a caveat at the bottom of an email reminding you to save the planet by not printing unnecessarily?

Maybe there are many mobiles out there which don't have internet access, but judging by the huge increase in the purchase and use of smart phones I would guess that within a few years the old style txt'nspeak phones will be collector's items, just as the first PCs are now. Whether we like it or not technology increasingly plays a much bigger part in our work and leisure lives. I've even seen a second reading out a route description to his gripped leader via his mobile! Two worlds in collision?

In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies: Landscape format guidebooks are a pain in the arse.
Iain Peters - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to deacondeacon)
> [...]
>
> Well Alan is, and he is usually on the ball! I know he is already developing Apps like the recent Gower guide:
>
So is every other man and his dog in the guide publishing world!

> Personally I would rather not take a 500 piece of electronics to the crag and risk dropping it or getting it rained on. But then - I am old fashioned!
>
> Chris

Yet you think nothing of carting a similarly valuable camera on a route. Personally, I like to leave the camera behind and use the fairly decent one built-in to my phone. 8Mps ain't too bad, and I can also record my partner's slight difficulty on the crux!!

Also with the increase in HD headcams and the results on YouTube, on sight ascents may soon be a thing of the past ;-)

martinph78 on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Peters: I don't print one route on one page, and do use technology to produce the print-outs.

There is no right or wrong answer, it's personal choice I guess.

So long as no one drops a tablet pc on my head whilst I'm on the route I'll not let it bother me either way :)
Duncan Bourne - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to deacondeacon:
> Tbh I'm looking forward to the day they're all on my phone.

Not me with my propensity to dropping guide books, smacking them around the rocks, getting them wet, sitting on them, and all manner of adventures. When I climb my phone stays well away from what I am doing.
ads.ukclimbing.com
The Pylon King on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Iain Peters:

You can't scribble on a smart phone. :)

Or use it for toilet paper in emergency :(

Personally i think human beings are getting more and more addicted to technology and seem to be finding it harder and harder to be away from it for any length of time - look at how many people walk around texting or plugged into an i pod, guided by their GPS.

The simplicity of being out on a mountain or crag with just a book is precious.

Progress is not always a forward step.
deacondeacon - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies: Thats it though, you can scribble on a smart phone, and you don't even need a pencil. And as for wiping your butt, It'll definitely not be suitable for the coffee table after that treatment :)
I also don't think people using the tools available to them means they're addicted, just savvy.
Anyway it's going to happen wether we like it or not and I'll end up buying the paper versions and the e-versions.
The Pylon King on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to deacondeacon:
> (In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies)
> I also don't think people using the tools available to them means they're addicted, just savvy.

No, i think knowing how to use a compass and map is savvy, not relying on a satellite to guide you.

> Anyway it's going to happen wether we like it or not and I'll end up buying the paper versions and the e-versions.

Nothing in the future is certain, thank god.

Mutl3y - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies: it would seem that no one has a clue about the landscape orientation then. Shame, I was really hopeful someone would have let us know. Thanks for asking all the same.
The Pylon King on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Mutl3y:
> (In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies) it would seem that no one has a clue about the landscape orientation then. Shame, I was really hopeful someone would have let us know. Thanks for asking all the same.

well, alas, not much info been given but it seems that landscape is not popular but still none the wiser why many bouldering guides are landscape
Jonathan Emett - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies:
I was pleased when I heard the Portland CC guide was going to be landscape format; but then it turned out to be landscape with the spine on the short edge - madness! Too easily torn, as others have mentioned.
Landscape with spine on the long edge seems much more useful; multipitch aside, crags are usually wider than they are tall.
The Pylon King on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Jonathan Emett:

this is what i was thinking - sort of calender style.
Iain Peters - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies:

First off Mark, apologies for hi-jacking your post! I actually like the format of The Portland Guide, but haven't used it enough yet to pass comment on whether it will last. However my Rockfax Westcountry Climbs is already showing severe signs of wear, and although the content etc. is very good, it most definitely is not up to the task of multi-pitch sea-cliffs.

FWIW, I did write a children's highly illustrated walking guide to the Lake District that was eventually printed (not in landscape) with a spiral binding. Bookshops don't like these due to stacking and display problems and publishers don't like the extra cost, but the books themselves got a helluva lot of stick from the kids in all weathers and seemed to survive well.
oddtoast on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs:
Fair enoughs, though it's a feature I happily pay more for with other reference books like sewing or cooking books :)

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