366 days of gratitude

Some 30 years ago a woman turned up at the door in the hope of selling me a set of encyclopedias.

She tried to tell me they would be an investment.

It was right in the depths of the ag-sag where we had a very strict definition of necessities and nothing spare for luxuries, investment or not.

Move forward three decades and the annual Rotary bookarama shows me the investment would have been a poor one. Each year encyclopedias are donated by the dozen, a few might sell to be used as doorstops, for decoration or to be cut up for school projects but most get passed on to the recyclers.

The internet has superseded them. It does the same job much better. On-line resources can be updated so much faster and more easily than the tomes they’ve replaced.

It also helps you out with suggestions should you have misspelt what you’re looking for.

Not all sites are reliable but the internet also gives you the ability to cross-check references easily and quickly.

This evening I was staring at my notice board for inspiration, noticed the drawing pins, wondered who invented them and in a couple of clicks had the answer.

Tonight I’m grateful for Wikipedia and other on-line encyclopedias.



4 Responses to 366 days of gratitude

  1. TraceyS says:

    My mother bought the set of encyclopedia, complete with the custom brown wooden shelf, with her family benefit money I think. It would have been around ’84. They were one of her three “pride-and-joy” items that I remember.

    I read those books cover to cover but not always in page order. Sometimes I’d just open one up on a random page and read whatever happened to be on it. Because she was delighted that someone else liked them, I was left alone for hours to read, rather than being hassled to do other things like chores. My general knowledge isn’t all that great but it would have been worse if this set of books hadn’t come to be in our house. The scent of the brand new pages…I can still smell like it was yesterday. It was a great escape. The foreign smell, the new information, it took me places.

    The important thing is not necessarily being up to the minute with everything (you can’t be anyway), but knowing how to use your brain to find what you need when you need to know. That need can be brought by external forces but can equally be driven entirely from within. These books may have eventually been used to start someone’s fire but it doesn’t matter. They served me well.

  2. Paul Scott says:

    My family, being Scottish, had Encyclopaedias, Encyclopedias being a variant and lesser form. I have a very old Medical Encyclopaedia at home, and it says that a lot of “men’s conditions” are improved with parsley.. .
    I think it said that woman have more conditions than men, but everybody knows women come with conditions attached.

  3. Paul Scott says:

    Another thing. I looked up Google, It says only 365 days in a year, so Ele has an extra gratitude day. Probably her birthday when she gets to be a year younger.

  4. homepaddock says:

    Paul – there are 366 days in a leap year.

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