Wednesday, June 23, 2010

      ( 10:29 PM ) teahouse
A World of Books

When my parents moved back to Asia several years ago, we helped them put all of their stuff into storage.

30 years worth of stuff they had accumulated while living in the United States, was all crammed to a 10 foot by 5 foot storage space in New Jersey.

This summer, at their request, the Husband and I have been slowly cleaning out that storage space, in an effort to reduce the amount of unnecessary stuff.

Over the weekend, we went to the storage unit and found my old set of World Book Encyclopedias that Santa Claus gave me for Christmas, 1984.

It was still in great shape. And I have so many memories of doing book reports using its volumes, and flipping through to read random articles when I was a kid.

I remember how my parents would make me wash my hands before I could touch the encyclopedias, so I wouldn't leave smudges.

I remember helping my dad update it each year when we got the "World Book Year Book" with new articles.

I remember surreptitiously looking up "Sex" in the encyclopedia, as a curious 13-year-old.

I remember wondering why there were no articles on Bon Jovi or Madonna, my favorite musical performers in the 80s.

I really wanted to keep it. But the Husband and I accepted the fact that we couldn't. It's out of date, the volumes are very heavy, and there is NO room in our apartment to store it.

What's more, the charity we tried to give the volumes to said that they can't sell old encyclopedias; there is no market for them. So they'll probably break down the paper and recycle the volumes.

That made me feel a little sad. An era has gone by.

I know we can't save the encyclopedias for our kids. Children of the new digital and internet age, they'll laugh at us.

But they'll never know the smell of those books, and the pleasant "crack!" of opening an encyclopedia volume.



Search for international charities that send books overseas to schools in great need of books of all kinds (i.e., villages in Africa).

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:27 PM  

For some reason this entry reminds me of an episode I saw yesterday of "How I met your mother."

By Blogger lissa, at 12:05 PM  

This brings up my own childhood memories of our encyclopedia. We had a very old set and a new set. The smell is very distinct, and I also miss it.

By Blogger Amanda S, at 5:32 PM  

My drug of the future will be smelling old books :0). Maybe I can bottle the essence.

By Blogger loquacious j, at 9:13 PM  

I used to love the encyclopedias at school. I remember there was a picture of a sneeze in progress that we all found fascinating!

By Blogger Heather, at 8:47 AM  

and they will never have to wash their hands

By Blogger ... Paige, at 6:20 PM  

Hi THB ! Had been out of circulation for a while...but this post made me so nostalgic for my own books from my childhood. Fortunately, I still have many of them at my parents' place.

By Blogger The Weekend Blogger, at 1:23 AM  

I loved encyclopedias when I was a kid. Dunno if my son even knows what an encyclopedia is! *sigh*

By Blogger B.E.C.K., at 1:34 AM  

i used to love compton's

By Blogger TCho, at 5:21 PM  

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THIRTYSOMETHING (!!) year old Asian American New Yorker, lawyer, amateur musician, curious girl taking a bite out of the Big Apple. Don't mess with me - I'm short and I look demure, but I carry a big purse. And I've just embarked on the journey of married life in Manhattan.

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