I asked this Canadian not so well travel type where he purchased the books he was reading in English. He never did says, but he said, (Him and his girlfriend, eating the veggies, dressed in travel pants, have the complete, I be newby traveler clothes.)
They are sold cheap in the bookstores Like 7 dollars is cheap... for a used book. 1-2 is sort of cheap.
I kept pushing for the location of the bookstore, he did not seem how to give directions, now he has been in Cuzco for over two weeks.
He finally said it was in the Lonely Planet, then said, "Do you have a Lonely Planet?"
I said, "No."
So he did not offer to help by showing me in his, normal selfishness of the MTV generation, plus a Canadian / USA thing.
Looked at me like I was stupid, I did not push... It was too funny, arrogance of self is funny to me. He acted like any fool should have a guidebook, and any fool that only goes to one country in his or her life probably should have purchased a guidebook before they come.
But for me, I have to purchase as I go, plus it saves over 60 percent on the price. I just snagged a Bolivia Guidebook, but I have not found a Peru.
But here is my normal method. The more a person travels the less likely they worry about a guidebook. I always use them to find fun hotels, but other than that, not so much.