What is a book?

2014 was the year that we planned to update our guidebook to South Sudan. Our timing may leave something to be desired, since much of the country seems to be erupting in violence at the moment, but I remain the eternal Sudanese optimist.

In doing our preliminary research into what needs updating, with a view to returning to South Sudan a little later this year, I have been somewhat dismayed with the media coverage that our competitor’s guidebook to the country has been receiving.

Here’s a case in point.

On the way back from the UK the other week, I picked up a copy of Wanderlust to entertain me on the 45 minute flight. It’s a magazine I have great regard for and I have been an occasional reader of it since it was first established 20 years ago.

I was quite surprised to see that one of the first articles was on South Sudan. Such surprise quickly turned to dismay and frustration as I skimmed over the article, which wasn’t so much about the country but about the fact that our competitor had been bold enough to publish the “first ever guidebook to the country”.

But hang on. We published our guidebook to South Sudan six months before they did.

Upon my return home, I flicked through other media. The Telegraph was positively salivating over their foresight to publish such a guide.

Which, I repeat, we had done six months before.

The thing is.

The thing is.

Well, the thing is.

Our guidebook is currently available only on Kindle. At the time, we didn’t have resources to publish a printed version, since we were focusing all our efforts on our Hague guidebook.

So what is a book? Wanderlust, The Telegraph and a host of other media have categorically defined a book as being non-electronic.

I beg to differ.

We published the first ever guidebook to an independent South Sudan. And that’s exactly what it will state on our next edition.


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