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Route 66 Quick Reference Encyclopedia Paperback – May 1, 2008
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1. The reviewer is correct in stating that there is no index. However, since the main body of the book is an ALPHABETIZED listing of terms and definitions, an index would be mostly redundant. Does your dictionary have an index?
2. The criteria for including topic entries may be obscure, but that's really the point--a Route 66 novice NEEDS an experienced hand to guide him in his quest. As stated in my preface, I've spent many years exploring and otherwise learning about Route 66, and this book is a compilation of the many things a budding Mother Roader should know about, some of them a trifle obscure, but all worth knowing, according to MY EXPERIENCE. If the reviewer thinks "many seemingly important pieces of information don't make the cut," then (a) perhaps they only SEEM important superficially, and (b) what's stopping our friendly reviewer from writing his own compilation?
3. On this the reviewer is confused, and it's partially my fault. The points of interest he refers to on the strip maps are actually somewhat whimsical mock-decals of my own invention, and the titles on some of those "decals" do not appear as defined terms. But I think most readers will readily comprehend that the decal that says DWIGHT ILLINOIS and AMERICA'S MAIN STREET is not intended to refer to any one landmark, and so does not warrant a unique entry--to cite just one example.
4. Finally, the reviewer says, "if you're looking for a Route 66 guide," he'd recommend something else. Again, as with #1 above, I agree. Anyone looking for a "guide" should look for something that has "guide" in the title. This book was never intended as a tool for determining where to make your next left-hand turn--other authors have already provided those tools.
The Route 66 Quick Reference Encyclopedia is very good at what it purports to do: provide quick, pithy access to the type of information one needs to know to hold one's own when chatting with veteran roadies, and perhaps even settling a friendly bet or two.
1. There is no index. Thus if something is mentioned only inside one of the topic-specific paragraphs, there is no way to find it again.
2. The criteria for becoming a topic entry are very obscure. Minor and intuitive definitions lie side-by-side with obscure and largely irrelevant information. Many seemingly important pieces of information don't make the cut.
3. There are strip maps at the beginning of the book which highlight by city a very few point of interest. However, most of these points of interest ARE NOT MENTIONED in the book itself.
If you're looking for a Route 66 guide, I strongly recommend Jerry McClanahan's EZ 66.