Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Memories ~ my encyclopedia story

When my three children were growing up, we bought them a set of the World Book Encyclopedias.  They looked like this 20-volume set I found online.  I also remember Mother buying the four of us the same encyclopedia.  She paid 50-cents a week on it, which was a lot of money back then.  A little story for you about these books.

After World War Two, there was a housing shortage, and old barracks in my town were converted to temporary apartments for returning soldiers with children.  My dad was a veteran with a wife and four kids, so we qualified.  The barracks, however, were slung together, rather than built to last.  So when it rained, we often had leaks.  And those leaky spots usually dripped rain onto our furniture.  When it stormed, my siblings ran to cover their beds I can't remember if we used tarps, or shower curtains, or what but I was less interested in a dry bed than I was in saving our books!  Especially the encyclopedias.  So I covered up our bookcases.  As you can see, my love of books goes way, way, way back.

In the days before digital before we had a television in our home books were the only way to learn about something, the only way to check facts.  It was, in fact, our version of Google.
"The World Book was Google, for an era of print. If you needed to know something, there it was, on the shelf at home."
I found this quote while searching for an image to use.  Think about it ... if rain suddenly started pouring into your house, what would you save first?  Your TV?  Your iPod?  Your Kindle?  I saved the source of my knowledge our encyclopedias.

2 comments:

bermudaonion said...

What a fantastic story! I don't think I would have thought to save our encyclopedias when I was a kid.

Douglas Barrow said...

My Mom did the exact same thing. Got my brother and sister a set of these same books around the same time. We even got a few of the "Year Books" that came for a few years after the initial purchase. I read a lot of them and just looked at the pictures for others as I wanted. What great memories.