The "Rough Guide" books are collection of guides about anything. Literally anything. They are good books to introduce someone to something different as they contain a wide variety of different information, allowing anyone to pick it up and find information relevant to them. They are good for people new to the certain field or people who are experienced in that field.
In 1981 Mark Ellingham was travelling round Greece and found that the guides on offer were not to his needs. Some were heavy cultural studies, some light books on travelling on a light budget. Not finding any of these to his taste, he and some other writers wrote their own guide to Greece- the Rough guide to Greece and convinced Routledge (a publishing company) to publish it. They aimed to include critical detail on the history and culture of Greece while providing accurate cost-analysis and practical travelling suggestions. Very quickly the book became a success. This lead to more guides being published about other countries as they found that not only were the guides a useful to backpackers but to other demographics as well, who enjoyed the critical approach to cost.
Quickly the books branched out into other fields with information on books, restaurants, history, music. So far the books cover more then 200 destinations, 22 different languages and topics as diverse as Pop Culture or Ethical Shopping. Each one is very detailed, but welcoming for the newcomer and the language used is never too technical nor patronising.
It's important to note that with such topics like Ethical Shopping the books approach them with a level-headed and neutral approach, detailing the pros and cons of such beliefs and giving a balanced argument, letting you, the reader make up your own mind.