This book set has some major advantages and disadvantages, but is definitely worth adding to your collection. It is not only a great book to carry with you while you travel the route but is a awesome planning tool.
Let me explain about this set. The guidebook is broken down state by state, and then by sub regions, and then almost mile by mile. The book is extremely detailed, and continually points out landmark after landmark with well researched but short descriptions. The guidebook is fantastic and is almost like having a tour guide with for every mile. But the guidebook also provides you with detailed directions. The directions and sites will usually reference a number that correlates with one of the maps in the atlas book. The book can also be read two ways one side will go through the Chicago to Santa Monica route, and the other Santa Monica to Chicago route.
The atlas by itself could have some use but really possesses no details without the guidebook. Each page is broken down in two to four maps with an assigned number that as previously mentioned relates to the directions and details in the guidebook. The maps are pretty detailed National Geographic Topo maps. Inside each map are usually a few dots notating turns or mile points. The atlas book is not two sided like the guidebook.
What I like about these books is the detail. You can see Moore and Cunninghams love and commitment to Route 66 in these books. As I said these books are like having personal guides with you along the way. On the home front these books are also fantastic for planning. You can't get this kind of detail on the Internet, either in maps or guidebook materials. Plus the guidebooks ability to cover the route with the stating point at either end is unique.
What I don't like about the book is that they are traditionally bound. Leaving Chicago the book had let loose of its cover by Oklahoma. Another issue I had with the book was sometimes a few of the directions can be off, for instance it will tell you that you go over tracks, when instead you go under, or make a right turn when you go left. For the most part the flubs are minor, but the latter issue did cause us some frustration in Victorville, CA. That and I do wish they combined the two books.
If your planning a trip these books are a must have. Be sure to look them up on Route 66 Magazines website, or check Amazon for a used set.