Here are the guidebooks I found particularly useful:
Hawaii The Big Island Revealed - This is a seriously good book. One of the best guide books I've ever used. It has lots of cool things to do and places to go that you would never ever find on your own. The link's to the author rather than the specifc book - they keep coming out with new editions which is good for tourists, bad for keeping your website up to date!
Snorkel Hawaii: The Big Island - Between one thing and another we ended up not needing it, but it seems like the book you want if you're serious about snorkeling.
The Birdwatcher's Guide to Hawaii - we ended up being able to find a bunch of endangered birds because of this book. It's no good for identification, just how to find them. For identification most gift shops had a nice Audubon Society book for around $10.
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