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Wednesday, August 6, 2008 4:05 pm
Travel Guides for Armchair Reading
Posted by: Keir Graff

On Slate, Paul Collins (Sixpence House, 2003) has put together an absolutely irresistible list: The 10 Oddest Travel Guides Ever Published. To wit:

7. Lonely Planet Guide to Micronations, by John Ryan et al. (2006)
This may be the only Lonely Planet guide in which armchair travel is probably assumed—for the countries themselves are about the size of an armchair. Self-proclaimed “micronations” include a kingdom of Danish schoolteachers, the spherical Republic of Kugelmugel, and the Copeman Empire—which, the guide helpfully explains, “is actually a small caravan in Sherringham, England.” Amid the whimsicality—Whangamomona’s combination border control/outhouse, say, or the Royal Wheelbarrow of the Kingdom of Romkerhall—the book’s a meditation on just what it is that drives people to want to get away, even if only for a few square meters, from the hassles and history of the land they were born into.


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