I like travel, and some of the things I get out of traveling aren't likely to be in books. Sure, I could have gotten read excellent descriptions of the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower and the sculptures at the Rodin Museum, but they wouldn't be my memories, and they wouldn't have the bits that are less standard tourist stuff, like going out to a suburb to visit a specific museum, then walking through a Christmas market, buying lunch at a random deli, and discovering that I do in fact like mayonnaise when it's fresh rather than from a jar. Or the fumbling conversation with a stranger at a restaurant the first night I was in Paris, with much help from my phrasebook, and having the special dessert of the day that I didn't know to ask for, rather than one of the things on the menu. Or the discovery of a brand of lip gloss that I am still using fifteen years later, in a transaction that was almost entirely in sign language, because when I greeted the shopkeeper--"Bonjour, madame, parlez-vous anglais?"--it turned out she didn't speak English. But she knew her stock, and was happy to sell me what I needed.
Then I got back to the U.S., and had numerous conversations in which someone (usually someone who had never been there) said something along the lines of, how nice that I got to see those things, it's just too bad that the locals are rude. They were somewhere between surprised and skeptical when I said that everyone in Paris had been polite, including the shopkeepers with whom the conversations were reduced to nouns or gestures. They'd mostly read in books or been told by friends that Parisians are rude; Parisians think tourists are rude for starting a conversation with a French person, in France, in English without first asking whether they speak the language.
(That's separate from the fact that if I didn't travel, I would never have met my girlfriend--nine years ago, we were visiting the same people in Montreal for New Year's, and fell for each other. But that sort of serendipity is much less common than finding interesting streets, with quiet little cafes where locals get their lunch, the sort of thing you can find by exploring Paris or London or Boston on foot and by metro and bus.)