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Encyclopedia

5 Apr

For as long as I can remember my parents have had an almost ancient set of World Book Encyclopedias on a specially made shelf in their living room. When I was a little girl I used to use the arts and crafts section to tell me how to make shoes out of construction paper and dolls out of nylons.

Before we got our first dog, I poured over the section on dogs and finally the World Book Encyclopedia provided the research material that I needed to conclude that I wanted an English Springer Spaniel. Although we ultimately ended up with Lily, a miniature wiener dog who, though nothing like an English Springer Spaniel, was free and adorable.

And in high school, there was an interesting period of time when the internet still crackled across a phone line and told you, “You’ve got mail” as you puttered through the world wide web and used AOL instant messenger. (My screen name was socerchk4 and it was super cool.)

At that time, researching on the internet meant my mom couldn’t use the home phone, and since people were still predominately using pagers instead of cell phones the size of bricks, that was an issue. Believe it or not, texting really wasn’t in yet. This was even before ATT phones with the little worm game and fancy button attachments were in.

Plus, there was one computer between my dad, brother, sister and I and Wikipedia was still pretty new. So those old encyclopedia’s and some library books were cited all the time in MLA format on my papers.

I honestly think when I have children they will not believe these stories. And alas, it will seem a bit far fetched. The World Book Encyclopedias have been out of print for a while and now the Encyclopedia Brittanica is no longer going to be printed. 

Sad trombone.

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