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To tear or not to tear

Help me out here!

I know Rick himself encourages tearing up his guidebooks in the interest of packing light, and yet I am having an absurd amount of angst about damaging a book. Is there anyone else who cannot bring themselves to do this, or it it fairly common amongst the forum members and I should just get over it? I know I'm not exactly taking a knife to the Gutenberg Bible here. When I look at the pages I'd actually need while on the trip it's much less than half the book. My husband says "I'll just take the books in my bag" but he's not aware of the amount of cheese and chocolate I'm planning to store in his bag. ;)

** I know the answer is e-book, but I'm not taking any gadgets with me, plus I kind of hate e-books.

Posted by
682 posts

I used to tear pages out of books and take those along. The only gadget I travel with is my phone. So I just take photos of the pages I am interested in, and put those into al album for the trip planning and that way they are very easy to access. So if you are taking a phone, this would work.

Posted by
1666 posts

First RS tour in 2019, it killed me to tear up the Italy guide book. So I put it on my food scale. 3 lbs. Way too much weight. I tore out the sections I needed; put them in the binders RS sells, one for each town. Weight came down to less than 1 lb total. Now I have no problems tearing up guide books. Plus on RS tours, the guide book is part of the tour package.
I'm getting ready to tear apart this year's France book. But I think RS app for walks instead of the book is just as useful and no weight. I'm questioning how many guide book pages I really need to take.

Posted by
6458 posts

Do you have an at home printer with copying abilities?

If you truly can’t bring yourself to tear how about copying the pages you wish to take?

Secure them in a sliding bar report cover and through you trip toss copies you no longer need.
Staples, Amazon, Office Depot all have those covers.

Posted by
1851 posts

For the first time in my life, I tore up a book - the RS Italy book. It just about killed me but I only needed a small portion of it. My husband bound the edges with tape and then used one of our travel photos from a previous Italy trip for a cover. That made it more palatable and salved my conscience. For our next two tours, I am taking the entire books for each country because if we get covid and get stuck somewhere I may need the info other than the tour specific stuff.

Posted by
1125 posts

mikliz97 I guess I forgot that a phone is a gadget too. I'll have mine with me of course.

Posted by
3336 posts

I tore up Ricks guidebook. Once. And then found, half way thru the trip, that I hadn't included a section that would have come in really handy. So now the whole book goes with us. DH carries it in his messenger bag.

Posted by
2779 posts

I just had to get over it. Even after buying the Kindle edition so that I'd have the entire book with me for evening research, I still ripped out physical pages of the guided walks to carry during the day.

And alas, I took the physical pages back home and stuffed them back into the book, which makes its own fun souvenir.

Posted by
75 posts

You can use your 1 gadget and download the kindle app and get the e-books

That's what I do anyway!

Posted by
8395 posts

I always copyy pages and bring them with me, tossing out as i go as Claudia said. But i just put them in a simple folder, or just in my suitcase. Don’t need them in anything really. I do staple sections together. I’m not tearing up my books, i use them as reference and research for next trips. Of course Rick says tear them up… and buy a new one when you get back… LoL!

Posted by
4590 posts

When we went on RS tours, we took the entire book. For independent trips where we used his book as a reference for some cities, I just carefully folded back the spine and used a knife to cut out only the locations where we were going that were in his book. The next step was to pare down those few pages even more since I didn’t want his hotel recommendations, etc. I just stapled the few vital pages together per location. Since it was very small and lightweight, I did keep them throughout the trip, returned them to the book afterwards, and I just put a large rubber band around the book to secure. Now my itineraries are mostly to locations that aren’t in his books. I do a lot of screenshots of info on-line while doing research and keep them in an iCloud folder per city. Those get reduced down to my favorite options per city when my trip is getting close.

I’ve never had qualms about cutting the books. I used to do the same with magazine articles of various hobbies that I wanted for reference later, also.

Posted by
1793 posts

Back when I was cycletouring in Germany and France, I would rip up the Michelin Guides because so much did not apply to where I was cycling and every ounce counted. Now going by trains and a roller bag, I carry the books whole

Office Depot did a great job for me. No tearing. Office Depot put the RS guide pages I requested into neat little spiral bound booklets for me. I still have them. I made one booklet for each city/town/region that I visited.
Not expensive. (I don’t remember the cost because it was quite a while ago.) It was well worth it. Someone on this forum gave me the idea. Much easier to store and use during my travels.

Posted by
26 posts

Just tore mine up, I ordered several of the RS binder covers. The book (BOE) was just too heavy with entire countries we would not visit so it made sense. I also figure some of the information in the guide book would be dated and not accurate several years form now. My other RS book is an Ebook so no tearing for that. So my vote it tear or ebook...

Posted by
3240 posts

I usually tear out pages, but recently took the entire UK book. TSA at JFK opened my carryon because of the thick book.

Posted by
28 posts

I know you state you kind of hate e-books but if you have an iphone and can find the guidebook at the Apple store, that is a great way to carry your books and other travel documents. In addition to books you can store pdfs so my Covid vaccination documentation is stored there in addition to itineraries and other stuff. I load books for reading during the flight. With my old eyes, having my books and documents in Books on the iphone actually makes in easier for me to read since I can enlarge the font and illuminate the page.

(That said, I still take paper copies of important documents because you never know what might happen to your phone.)

Posted by
1445 posts

Tear those pages!!! 😊 I’m a book lover, I majored in English, and I still have no problem tearing pages if it means less weight in my suitcase. I also take a bunch of notes printed out. But I have found I rarely refer to the notes or guidebook pages when on the trip. It’s more of a comfort that I have them “just in case.” I do so much pretrip research that I’m pretty familiar with the places I’ll be going.

Posted by
6782 posts

Why do you feel a need to keep the book intact? Future trips? If I go back somewhere, I'll want a new, current book anyway. Want to lend to others? Send them to the library or used bookstores. I see the book as a tool to be used, not as a work of literature to be saved. But thats just me.

Posted by
1125 posts

No, I'm not saving the book for the future or for others, it's just a general unease about destroying a book. But I'm leaning towards it now...

Posted by
1871 posts

It was difficult for me too the first time I tore up a book. I bit the bullet and tore up a couple, in anticipation of a trip to Japan and had them all rebound as suggested on this forum. Great idea! Opened my suitcase in Kyoto to discover I’d packed all the garbage, and yes, my neatly bound guides were waiting for us on the dining room table when we got back. Please, do not try this at home.
Safe travels!

Posted by
1810 posts

This last trip was 2 RS tours (Sicily and My Way Italy) with added individual days. The Italy guidebook is massive, so tearing it up was a no-brainer. I paper clipped each relevant stop and stuck them in 2 ziploc bags, one for each tour. I also took 3 of the RS little binders. Each night I’d swap out the next day’s stop in the binders. That way I didn’t have to carry extra weight each day but had a reference. It also helped me review the next day’s itinerary for my tired brain.

Posted by
3240 posts

roubrat, with Rick it would be marijuana. I hadn't thought about drugs-I was more thinking explosives.

Posted by
253 posts

I also tear (well, pre- Covid, I haven't traveled since :( ) AND I am a librarian! I can't speak for all of us, but we tend to be very practical. And I worry a lot more about censorship than cutting up a non- library book. I like to also make a little packet for each day, including any other resources besides RS.

Posted by
1243 posts

I'm with Carrie and Karen - I love books and think they are wonderful but they are not sacred objects. Tear away as long as you own it! I've used old books over the years for many things, including craft projects (remember the Christmas trees crafted from books)?

When I travel, I usually bring a few sections with me to review, but mostly I rely on the Kindle app on my iPhone. The nice thing about the app is that you can immediately search for a site, then link to its website or location on Google maps. Very handy!

Posted by
9904 posts

I vote for using the paper book for planning and then the ebook on the kindle app on my iPad Mini or my iPhone as I go. Years ago when my first Kindle cr*pped out folks here talked me into an iPadMini and I've never looked back. That with the iPhone means I always have it with me.

Right now on Amazon the paperback is $22.67 and the Kindle edition is $18.99. I'm doing the Best of Italy so got the paperback free and I'll spend less than $20 on the e-edition. That's less than a meal with wine in Italy. Or Paris. Or Amsterdam. (And yes, I was the one who accidentally spent 42E for lunch in Paris in April...blame the warm day and the big glass of rose!)

I also am not one who indiscriminately throws away money (NOT that anyone here does!)...but I'll spend it where it saves me time and aggravation. Taxi when I need it? Yes. Extra $ for an e-book? Yes!

BTW...I LOVE Karen's comment about worrying more about censorship....yes! Thank you for widening my little telescoping mind to a bigger issue.

Posted by
4737 posts

yet I am having an absurd amount of angst about damaging a book.

Rip it up. It is not great literature. It is not rare. It will become obsolete.

Think of it like a copy of the phone book (if you are old enough to remember what that was). A new one came out every year and no one kept the old one.

Posted by
8860 posts

I went to the RS Travel Store a few days ago when I was in Edmonds and picked up a few of the $1 binders there. Now I just have to get over not wanting to destroy my books.

Posted by
93 posts

I am a book lover who goes nuts when people fold over the corner of a page as a book mark. But I have learned to happily and guilt-freely tear out the sections of the RS guidebook that I will need. I bought the page binders from RS and insert the section I will be using that day. So easy to take along in your day pack and so much quicker for finding the info you need on any given day. I am just not into electronic editions; I like paper. When I get home I reinsert the sections into their proper places in the book.

Posted by
11973 posts

I'm the same as the first reply. I used to tear out pages then toss them after they'd served their purpose. Now I photograph the pages I want and they are in my gallery when I want them. I find it's easier to find them in my gallery than using a Kindle version of the book.

Posted by
2278 posts

I can’t bring myself to tear out pages either. Fortunately Kindles were invented, so I no longer need to. No way I would bring a complete guide book — or any book — on a trip. I like hard copies for planning, but I also buy the Kindle version so I can take the book with me.