What do you do with old travel guide books?

Since I’m in the middle of moving, I find myself wondering which old stuff to keep and which old stuff to get rid of. Among my stuff I never think about using are a number of travel guides like Lonely Planet Italy and a Let’s Go Italy – both purchased before my honeymoon in 2001. And there are lots of other books that aren’t quite as old but are old enough that I’d think twice before using one of them again – if I ever even had the opportunity to use one of them again.

But sadly, I don’t think I’m going back to Turkey or Japan any time soon. So should I throw these books in the garbage? Living in Korea, there aren’t really a lot of charity thrift shops looking for English travel guides so I can’t donate them easily.

Anyway, how long do you keep guide books around? Does anyone get rid of them as soon as they’re done with the vacation they got the book for?

Filed Under: Travel discussion

About the Author

Comments (11)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Manding says:

    oh my gosh. i’ve recently been having a similar problem. in my case, i save ticket stubs to museums from abroad, or boarding passes, or post cards ETC ETC ETC… i collect them all in my suitcase after a year of traveling, and by year’s end, i’m faced with cleaning everything out. what do i keep and what do i throw out? AAAH.

    as for books, i like to pass them along to family or friends that are traveling to a new place. it’s great to share the book filled with your notes and the same guidelines that helped you navigate yourself; and it would be great to hear afterwards how friends and family used that book. did their vacation turn out like your vacation? did they experience an entirely different vacation? 🙂

    sorry for the long comment. HAPPY TRAVELS !

    ps, http://amandamantes.blogspot.com !

  2. Pieternel Goeres says:

    You won’t use them again, but in 10-30 years you’ll chuckle seeing the prices of museum, hotel, restaurant etc. ! So, I’d say, hold on to a few of them of places where you will go back… Not to use them again, but to view the differences time made.

  3. Susan says:

    What about donating them to a school? They would be great for studying English and for geography.

  4. darngooddigs says:

    We have a hard time throwing away old guidebooks, because who knows – maybe you will get back to Turkey. And if you have the space, your guidebook collection is a good record of your travels. Our problem is that we live in Brooklyn, so our shelf space is valuable – and yet we still keep those guidebooks.

    I figure at some point it’s not about whether you might go back to Turkey… it’s about, even if you go back, you’d still buy yourself a new guidebook because the info is so out of date.

    Darn Good Digs (www.darngooddigs.com) – guide to the world’s best independently owned accommodations for budget-minded travelers

  5. Cary T says:

    I’ve given my old books away to friends who are planning a trip to that area, but otherwise I keep the old books and use them to research possible trips in the future. Then, when I’m certain of going, I buy new ones to get all the latest info. I also use the internet to research future trips.

  6. Sharon says:

    I only keep the ones of places I might go back to, or places that I have special memories of. I probably toss out more than I keep…sometimes I take them along with magazines to the nursing home or to the Medical Center nearby.

  7. Madelyn says:

    I’m a hardcore Anglophile so I didn’t mind being given old England guide books from the 1960s. They’re paperback pocket guides, so no good photos and cheap paper. The language is hilarious, but otherwise I’m stuck with what to do with them. I have this vision of someday spending the time tracking down these old haunts and seeing if they’re still open and/or still worthy of being in a guidebook. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to gather the hotels, restaurants, b&b’s that still have a 1960s vibe and make a new guidebook?

  8. Daniel says:

    Since those guidebooks are heavy and very little use after a trip I make notes I want to save for later and tear out the sections I don’t need as I travel and end up not bringing the book back home… more room for other stuff I have bought!

  9. James Trotta says:

    Thanks for the comments everyone. So far I still have the guidebooks but when I doubt they make the trip from Korea to America. They already missed the boat and I don’t feel like flying with them…

    I especially like the idea of finding an English school that could use them.

  10. Janet says:

    I might be a bit of a hoarder, but I can’t bear to throw them away. I love bookcases and have a couple of shelves dedicated to my travels – that way, when I pass them I am reminded of those adventures. But that’s just me. If space is a concern – that’s a different matter.

  11. Madelyn –

    You say “I’m a hardcore Anglophile so I didn’t mind being given old England guide books from the 1960s.” I have lots of 1960s, some 1950s guides – are you interested? Where are you?

Leave a Reply




If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.