My first 10-15 years of going to Nevada I didn't take pictures, and only saved a couple of things as souvenirs ...but we smoked, so I did swipe some ashtrays!
When we'd go to flea markets and antique shows we'd see things from Las Vegas and Reno, but I wasn't very interested in them. Then, one time when we were in Las Vegas at Gambler's General Store, I found the casino ashtray book that was written by Art Anderson, with the help of Janice O'Neill. My husband and I had picked up a Horseshoe ashtray that had Joe W. Brown's name on it, and we'd been trying to figure out who Joe W. Brown was. I turned to the Horseshoe page of the ashtray book and read the story of Joe W. Brown...and I was hooked! I bought a $20 book to get the story of a .25 ashtray...that's my story, and I'm sticking to it!! I LOVED the stories that were in the ashtray book! The stories made me want the ashtrays...then I wanted the postcards, so I could see what the places looked like, and the matchbooks that often had information on them, and the chips that went with everything else...and then I was tumbling very rapidly down the slippery slope of casino collectibles. Luckily my husband was sliding down the slope with me!
Very early in our collecting days I saw a picture. Don't remember what the casino was, but the blurb next to the picture said something like "Take pictures! The picture you take might be the only picture that exists of a small, short-lived casino!" And that's when I started carrying a camera.