A reader's submission, which I liked enough to share. Also, 7 other things worth knowing today.
Those 1960's encyclopedias probably contain more truth and facts than today's woke-upped version would. The online Wokepedia is a joke. I'll take a good book I can open and close, touch, smell in a few seconds anytime.
I loved Tom’s excellent essay on encyclopedias. It was well written and had a great ending (being a minister he has that formula down pat!). I remember my dad bought a box of items at an auction and it contained an ancient book called The Book of Knowledge, published around 1920. Reading that book didn’t make we wiser but it did open my eyes to a world of possibilities, which proved to be priceless.
I, too, remember those encyclopedia. Tom’s essay made for an enjoyable morning read.
Belloq: Look at this. It's worthless. Ten dollars from a vendor in the street. But I take it, bury it in the sand for a thousand years, it becomes priceless.
Perhaps a complete printed encyclopedia is not worthless.
I'm in seminary at the moment, and one of the ways in which we have found copies of books that were not canonically included in the Scriptures copied over and over again in monasteries is we found them in landfills. I guess it's something about the layering of waste that gives landfills the ability to at some times preserve and at other times rot their contents. I'm not sure if our modern day landfills will be as successful as Greek or Roman ones at mysteriously preserving their contents, but wouldn't that be cool?
Your readers are brilliant (wish I could uphold that standard sometimes), and your choice superb today. Thank you, Bill Murphy. And Tom, too.
I lived Tom’s analogy of the Encyclopedia and knowledge. I, too, would come home
From school before I got on my bike, I’d pull a different book out of the encyclopedia and peruse it. When I got to college and we were studying the USSR, I had all the facts down, could draw the maps and the teacher was stunned.
Tom, your writing is beautiful and I enjoyed reading your story. First, why is the bear that lives near your home odd? Does he want to be introduced to your friends and invited to Super Bowl Sunday? 😝💃🏼 Second, have you considered selling your collection on eBay, Etsy, or some other platform? As an estate sale enthusiast, I enjoy showing off my small collection of historical books to my guests. They have also been used to read aloud excerpts and prompt lively discussions during dinner gatherings with others. I know of several people who enjoy collecting historical books to display decoratively throughout their home, and a 1960s set of encyclopedias would be a terrific addition to their eclectic or MCM home. Entire vintage resell stores are devoted to the MCM aesthetic. Some folks enjoy using historical books and their images in their art and crafting (again, see Etsy.) Or maybe an art program would enjoy having a few? I’m sure Google offered these other options and it may be too late, or be of no interest at all. I’m simply offering a pitch for those in the reusable/repurposing community. Regardless, thank you for the enjoyment of your story. Keep writing!
Great lesson. Sad and sweet. The very last piece of the description of his life has me chuckling. The deer and the odd bear. Sounds like the title to an older cartoon. Maybe a quirky song. I'm left with an interesting and funny mental image of my own as to what makes the bear odd, rather than occasional. Anyway, thank you, again, for wonderful start to the morning.
My folks had a similar set of encyclopedias, purchased volume by volume in the 50's for my older siblings. Then later we temporarily housed a set of Collier"s encyclopedias that a grown sibling had purchased from a door to door salesman. I loved the Collier's Junior Classics that were part of the set and was sad when the older sibling finaly had room in his home and took the encyclopedias back. So a few years ago, I bought myself a barely-used set of the Junior Classics, copyright 1962. There are 10 volumes of classic stories and poems for all ages. One of my favorite "gifts for myself"!
I remember mom bringing home these encyclopedias from the grocery store, too. Somehow we had 2 full sets of encyclopedias (different publishers) in our house. Having these at home saved me a lot of time from having to take a trek to the town library - 10 streets away- every time I had a school project. ( Although, to be frank, I LOVED going there! ) I’m sure my 3 siblings had this same experience.
Loved Tom’s encyclopedia story. Poignant and well written! Thanks for sharing!
Its a shame he sent the books to the landfill. I have often seen books like that used as decor on big bookshelves. Or perhaps the local museum would have been interested
But kudos to him for carrying them around for so long.
I worked in the office of the local sales manager for Encyclopedia Britannica and I know of the blessed mothers who, even with worn linoleum in the kitchen, would eke out the money for a set. Mothers of the world!
"7 other things worth knowing today" (9.23.220). I think it is a sad testament to our collective attitudes as a Nation when the Government buys votes by providing cash incentives to motivate us to do the right thing. A large tax credit for buying electric vehicles. Answer this question; "In today's economy, how many people who need a car are able to afford to buy a new electric car?" My guess is that most of the people who can afford to buy one are people whose income really doesn't need another tax credit.
I wouldn't throw those encyclopedia away. True they are as of a point in time, but that also represent a factual basis of history which is often not easily found through Google. Instead, consider donating them to an educational organization, maybe an under-served school.......