Thomas Bros. map books now out-of-print
Before GPS technology came into widespread use, real estate agents and delivery truck drivers relied on Thomas Guide map books for detailed street maps. The spiral-bound books were comprehensive and expensive, ranging from $15-$30 and up, depending on the region. But now, due to competition from GPS, Thomas Brothers has stopped printing most of these detailed city/county guides, making “the secondary market” (used bookstores and websites) the only place to get many of them. And GPS doesn’t work everywhere, you know.
I originally bought this Sonoma County map book for 25¢ at the Santa Rosa Sunday flea market to use in making collages – but I’ve learned to check values of books before merrily cutting them up, thankfully.
Late last fall I listed this 1992 “Sonoma County” map book for sale online at a competitive $9.99. Just six months later, it sold as the lowest-priced of the used Sonoma County Thomas Guides on Amazon.com, even though it’s more than 20 years old and only in “fair” condition. (Later editions combined Sonoma and Napa counties, or Sonoma and Marin counties.)
So keep an eye out for inexpensive Thomas Guides, even ancient ones in marginal condition, which can have good resale value on Half.com (e-Bay’s used book site), www.half.com, or on www.Amazon.com .