Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yep, I'm nuts

Monday I went and picked up an entire set of mostly-never-been opened 1980's encyclopedias that someone in my town was giving away. Why, you ask? Seems sort of pointless, right? I mean, the information in those books is outdated by several decades. And it's easier to just look up stuff on the computer, right? Google! Who needs anything else?

But I just had to have them. When I was a kid, and even when I got a bit older, I'd spend hours sitting on the floor by my mom's bookshelves, reading through the encyclopedia. Most of the time it would begin because I wanted to look up something specific. Like after I watched Braveheart for the first time, I wanted to look up more information on William Wallace and Edward II and Scotland, so I pulled out a few books and started looking.

And along the way, I'd come across other articles that looked interesting, so I'd read those. Before I knew it, hours had passed and my entire family was standing there staring at me like I was insane :D But hey, no one's ever accused me of being normal ;D

So when this opportunity presented itself, I jumped on it. I'll admit, I have visions of my own children sitting for hours, thumbing through books most people wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole. They may never happen (I can be realistic...sometimes). But, even if no one else ever gets near them, I'll have them. They'll be there, waiting for me.

(If I disappear for a few days, you know where to find me) ;-D

14 comments:

Kat Harris said...

OMG That's hilarious. My mother and sisters and I host a garage sale every spring, and this last spring my mom wanted to get rid of her old encyclopedias.

When they didn't sell, someone suggested she take them to a charity. They wouldn't take them either because "no one would want them."

I don't know what she ended up doing with them.

It's unfortunate that the younger generations don't have a clue how much work it was to do research back in the day. The card catalog? They don't have a clue.

That's cool that you've snagged those encyclopedias. Enjoy!

JStantonChandler said...

A kindred soul! I used to sit and read the encyclopedia when I was kid too. In fact, I still will pick up a volume and skim through it. I've even been known to read the dictionary. Yes. The dictionary.

Jen

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Oh I loved encyclopedias (and National Geographic magazines). I think it was the journey to other places and finding something new. Have a fabulous time getting lost in the pages...

Novice Writer Anonymous said...

When I first started out world-building years ago for my trilogy I would open the encyclopedia to a random volume and skim through looking for a map. I'd find a map, pull out an unusual sounding name and maybe tweak it a little bit for my world-- location names, etc.

And I read the dictionary and write out the entries that I need to recall quickly in a notebook.

Tess said...

I picked up an old set (the red ones with the black binding) a few years back at the public library sale. We never use them, but I still like having them on the shelf for old times sake.

T. Anne said...

I loved my enc. from the 80's! They are still at my mom's and if I'm over and bored, that's where you'll find me. lol.

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

We have two sets of encyclopedia's. The set my husband grew up with from the 60's and a new set from 2002. We use them all the time and it's interesting comparing the two. I've used them for research for my writing. I make my son look up information in the books first, rather than the computer.

Glad you enjoyed your new 'old' set.

Rebecca Knight said...

Jstanton, that is too funny! I used to read the Thesaurus :P. Together, we're a meatched set!

Amanda J. said...

I've always loved encyclopedias, they're so interesting!

Sherry Dale Rogers said...

Oh wow, I used to do the same thing, Hell it might be the same ones I used to read.

Nerds are the coolest people ever.

FictionGroupie said...

I was a thesaurus reader, but I did enjoy flipping through my grandpa's set of encyclopedias when I was a kid. Enjoy your new set!

Eric said...

That is so cool. I'd follow your example, but like you I'd get lost in the pages way too easily. I have enough difficulty with this as it is when I'm looking something up on Google. I stumble on one page or another that has an interesting tidbit on it, which leads to another page with interesting tidbits...before too long, hours have gone by. Nice post though, thanks for sharing the story. I hope you enjoy them immensely.

Sarah Bromley said...

Yes! You are nuts and so am I because this is just the kind of thing that I would do.

Michelle McLean said...

Wow! I really don't think I've ever met anyone else who liked to read encyclopedias (or dictionaries or the thesaurus) :D I am so glad to discover I'm not the only crazy duck out there ;-D