I jot ideas down to blog about as they pop in my head that way when I sit down to write and can’t think of anything to write about, I can refer to blog prompts I’ve stashed. Today is one of those days. I just couldn’t think of anything for Whatever’s On My Mind Wednesday. As I scroll through I see a note that I jotted down about how easy kids have it these days to find information. So there we have it, that’s how I decided to write about life as I knew it before Google.
I can remember being around 5 or 6 and finding this huge burgundy edition of Webster’s Dictionary in my parents room. I lugged that monstrosity to the middle of the room and sat on the floor and flipped through the pages. It was fascinating. There were many words that I pronounced incorrectly, others I couldn’t even begin to pronounce and some I was able to sound out. My dad saw me and was amazed that I could read it. We didn’t have cable and we lived overseas in this house on a hill with terrible reception. On cold days I just had to find something to entertain myself with inside. So reading the dictionary was something I’d occasionally do.
As the version of my memory serves, he was so impressed with me being able to not only sound out the word dictionary at that age, but the fact that I took interest to it on my own prompted him to buy the latest version of Google available at that time. A set of encyclopedias! It wasn’t until I was around 7 or 8 that I really took interest in the encyclopedias. I thought I was going to write the best reports in my grade, let alone my class! An entire alphabet worth of books that I didn’t even have to leave my house to access! This was a huge update from the dictionary that I would read trying to understand the meaning of a word I didn’t know only to be referred to another word I didn’t know that referred me back to the first word that I didn’t understand to begin with. Did you get that? Yeah pretty confusing right?
I remember being so excited to have a complete set of encyclopedias. Trying to think of things just so I could look them up, memorizing words I heard in conversation that I didn’t know the meaning of to find a reference in the books filled with information. I loved going through the pages and having them take me to places I’d never been, to discovering things I didn’t know and seeing animals I’d never heard of. The glossy pages filled with the captivating pictures and detailed information about each alphabetized subject. I didn’t think things could get better or more advanced than that. I had a world of information on a bookcase in our house. How much better could it get?