For years... decades, really... I've been collecting travel guides. Most of the time I would buy the old editions on sale when the new editions were released. The only thing that seemed to change were the hotel and restaurant listings, so it didn't make sense to pay full price for information I wasn't going to use. Because back then, actually getting to go to all these places was nothing more than a dream. I bought the books so I could pretend that I was planning a trip to exotic locations around the globe.
Then I stopped pretending and started actually going. Which is when my travel library came in handy.
But then the internet started taking over and I was referring to guidebooks less and less. And once the iPhone was unleashed, I had the entire internet in my pocket and stopped using physical travel guides altogether.
So why keep them?
Sentimental reasons, I guess. I look up at the bookshelf and it's a reminder of my travel dreams and all the places I want to go. But then this morning I actually started looking at them. Out of seventy-two books, only three of them were places I haven't yet been: Peru, India, and Cambodia...
There are plenty of other places I want to visit, but these are the three that are left staring down at me from the shelf. So I'm keeping them... for sentimental reasons, I guess... and throwing out the rest.
Hopefully one day I can visit Peru, India, and Cambodia so I can toss those books in the trash bin as well.
At which point I'll have to buy new books that I can aspire to throw out.