I Heart Indies

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Remember When?

Nancy and I were straightening up the house recently, throwing out junk - my old Olympic medals , the letter from the Nobel Committee saying, "you were this close" - and we came across this whole pile of things that at first we couldn't even identify.  They were made of paper and cardboard and they were covered in words inside and out.

We were hauling them up to the curb to be taken off to the landfill, puzzling over what they might be, and Nancy said, "You know what I think these are?  Books."

"Yes," I said.  "I think you may be right, they may be - what did you call them? - books.  But what are these other things?  They're like books, but they're thinner and flimsier."

Nancy said she believed these were magazines, and gradually it all came back to me.  I remembered sitting and reading a book for hours.  I actually looked forward to setting aside time just to read a good book.  Sometimes, after I read a book I especially enjoyed, I'd go back and read it all over again!  And when I was with other people, instead of talking about TV shows, we'd talk about books.  "Did you read that book?" I'd say, or, "That's a good book, you really ought to read it."  You could actually start a conversation by saying, "Read any good books lately?"

And magazines!  We used to subscribe to this one called The New Yorker, which doesn't make any sense because we didn't live anywhere near New York, but it was crazy!  I swear, it seemed like we got a new one every week!  And I'd read it!  There were funny little cartoons and movie reviews and articles and stories.  And sometimes someone would mention something, and I'd say, "Hey, did you read that article in The New Yorker, and they'd say, "Why yes, I did," and we'd talk about it.

And - I swear, I'm not making this part up - there used to be entire stores that sold nothing but books and magazines.  And people would go in there and buy them, and talk to each other about what might be good to read.  And if there weren't anything good to read, someone would say, "You need to go to the bookstore (they were called bookstores) on so-and-so street.  They have lots of good books to read there.  And after you read them, you can talk about them."

What a funny world it used to be.  How funny people used to be.  Now we just turn on Netflix or Amazon Prime and watch TV.  And when we see other people, we talk about TV shows.

Life is so much better now.

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