Americans love lists, even the ones that hold hundreds of items. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the book “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” remains on the bestseller list four years after its publication, with more than 2.5 million copies are in print.

Author Patricia Schultz has probably struck gold again this summer’s publication of “1,000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die.” For area residents still trying to decide where to go on a summer vacation, it’s a good resource for some timely ideas.

Every page of the book’s suggestions offers enticing prospects. They range from Washington’s San Juan Islands, a group of around 750 islands in the Pacific Ocean, to New York City’s “Museum Mile,” described as a place where a full weekend could be spent at any one pick.

But if time and money are considerations this year, Texans don’t have to wander far from home. That is, they don’t have to wander far by Texas standards.

Included in the list of 1,000 places are several sites in Austin, the Alamo and River Walk in San Antonio, the Texas Hill Country, the mountains of West Texas, the Gulf Coast, Big Bend National Park and Paul Duro Canyon State Park.

In an interview with an Associated Press writer, Schultz said the books’ titles with the phrase “before you die” is not meant to be defeatist. Rather, it is designed to encourage readers to live each day to the fullest and make plans to see as many wonderful places as they can and to enjoy them. Too often, people put off rewarding themselves, vowing that they will do it “someday,” but “someday” never comes.

Travel is not only an enjoyable and refreshing endeavor, it can also be educational. But that shouldn’t discourage anyone. A change of pace and a change of scenery is a treat everyone deserves. And as this book illustrates, Texans don’t have to go far to take advantage of the things their home state has to offer.

Brownwood Bulletin