For most tourists to Turkey, DK Witness is a great resource for tourism purposes, from hotels to recommended attractions and places to dine. The other one that is really informative is Frommer's. The best feature of the Frommer's guide is the suggested itineraries. One week in Turkey is not enough but their itineraries for first timers, it does cover a lot of grounds and all that you want to see and do are squeezed into one week. Of course, people are generally loyal to their own particular guidebook of choice, so for many it will be Lonely Planet Istanbul or Lonely Planet Turkey. They also publish a Turkish Phrasebook and the Istanbul Encounter Guide.

 For a little understanding of Turkey and the Islamic faith of her people, you must definitely read My name is Red by Orhan Pamuk, one of Turkey's own and well known author. This novel is set in 16th Century Istanbul , a story of lust, love, art, taboos and murder. For something to give you a better idea of the Istanbl you'll see today (and not the stereotypes you have in mind!), try Pamuk's Istanbul - Memories and the City which is autobiographical, or his more recent novel,  The Museum of Innocence. These latter two really capture the changeable moods of Istanbul, and his descriptions really strike a cord for Istanbullus who read the descriptions of the city - especially outside the summer season most tourists are familiar with. The melancholy of Istanbul in winter is something else!

For history books on Turkey, Sons of Conquerors: The Rise of the Turkic World by Hugh Pope is a really good start, and for those who want a quick read and fast introduction to Turkey, Roderic Davison had written Turkey, A Short History. For a historical travel on Turkey, the best one is definitely Constantinople by Edmondo de Amicis (translated by Stephen Parkin), you can only imagine what Istanbul is like in those days.  Turkey is a traveler's delight and a historian's paradise. For a broad view on the culture,history and art of Istanbul and Anatolia the glorious publication Cornucopia is a brilliant choice. Ranging from history of art to journalism to history, it combines beautiful photography with intelligent writing. It also has an excellent website, helping you to start to understand country. But there is never enough time to explore! So start by reading up on her and see for yourself what is waitiing for you in this fascinating and wonderful country called Turkey. Enjoy !

 For Readers after arrival - 

Bookshops - For English language books on Turkey, Turkish language, history, art, politics, architecture, fiction about Turkey, by Turkish writers and just everything Turkey, you can' go past Bookshop as it's simply known, and it's sister shop, Galeri Kayseri across the road. Both conveniently located on the tramway (Divan Yolu) in Sultanahmet, you will definitely have an excess baggage problem after a visit! They have some titles in French, German and other langauges, and also some texts out of print. Their service is excellent.

For  a more eclectic selection of (mostly) English language books, including history, fiction, contemporary essays and other non-fiction works to pad out your holiday reading, consider Robinson Crusoe or Pandora.

Tours -  A new literary tour taking in sites described by Agatha Christie, Pierre Loti, Orhan Pamuk, Elif Safak and Paul Theoroux, including morning tea at the very lovely Pera Palace Hotel will please avid readers and Istanbul-lovers. Tour price includes annotated bibliography. 

Online Guides - Istanbul Travel guide, and Istanbul Travel Planner includes major attractions and things to do in and around Istanbul.