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Browsing Down the Book Lane

October 18, 1987|DON JAMES | James is a Los Angeles free-lance writer.

Great for choosing accommodations or places to eat or stay is Les Routier's "The Good Value Guide--1987." More than 1,400 British pubs, restaurants and guest houses are listed in alphabetical order, with vignettes of their amenities and culinary specialties. Various symbols furnish other important information (Prentice Hall: $10.95).

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The Blue Guide to "The Channel Islands," by Peter McGregor Eadie, is a collection of general information on the islands. Notations of history, art and architecture are included, with highlights on attractions, beaches, scenery, et al. The $16.95 tab is a bit high for this envelope-size guide, but it is an-easy-to-flip-the-page reference (W. W. Norton).

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Clues on when not to buy a Eurailpass, tour advantages, money exchange, staying healthy and more are outlined in "The Best European Travel Tips," by John Whitman. It's well worth the $6.95 tab on how to save money, time and trouble (Meadowbrook Simon & Schuster).

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For any budget, consider "New Zealand Handbook," by Jane King, among the best to take along on a visit. Its 512 pages are loaded with information. The 82 maps, 146 illustrations and lots of photos, many in color, capture most of this South Pacific nation (Moon: $13.95).

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Rand McNally's "Compact Road Atlas" (United States and Canada) has more than 250 state, province and city maps, including a detailed mileage chart. Its handy size makes it easy to fit in almost anywhere. The 224 pages do limit the features to major roads and larger towns, but one traveling any distance will find the atlas a handy companion for only $4.95.

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Aficionados or first-time visitors will appreciate "The Complete Lake Tahoe Guidebook," by B. Sangwan and Phillippa Savage. Its easy-to-read format is filled with practical information, maps, history and legends. It also includes where to eat, stay and what to do, as well as a guide to beaches, skiing, fishing and much more. (Indian Chief/Tahoe City: $5.95)

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For a change of pace, while visiting castles try "The Ordinance Survey Guide to Historic Houses in Britain." It transports the reader into a land of almost make-believe splendor and occasional indolent surroundings, and it is only $14.95. The 180 color photos and 60 detailed maps present an opportunity to see how the other half lives in England (W. W. Norton).

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For those who prefer a bed-and-breakfast or inn, here are a few of the latest titles. "Affordable B&B for $40 or Less for Two People," by Loris G. Bree (MarLor: $9.95); "B&B in the Mid-Atlantic States" ($10.95) and "B&B in New England" ($11.95), both by Bernice Chesler (Globe Pequot); The Berkshire Travel Press offers "Country Inns--Back Roads--Far West and Pacific Northwest," by Rachel Bard ($8.95), and "Country Inns--Back Roads--Continental Europe," by Norman T. Simpson ($11.95). For the best selection of accommodations at your destination, it's usually wise to pick up several guides. Worth highlighting are Karen Brown's three hotel guides with travel suggestions: "English, Welsh and Scottish Country Inns," ($12.95); "Scandinavian Country Inns and Manors," ($10.95), and "European Country Inns and Recipes," ($10.95).

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Making travel plans for almost any place, including North America, calls for information about the area. To help find a source of reference material, i.e., books, magazines, newspaper articles, et al., try "Traveler's Reading Guide," edited by Maggy Simony. It is 831 pages on ge1869050465Teachers, writers, armchair travelers, librarians and serious readers will find the $40 tab a worthwhile investment (Facts on File Publications).

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