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“I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.” – Yogi Berra

Barbara Billingsley, Hugh Beaumont, Tony Dow, Jerry Mathers in “Leave it to Beaver”

Who admits to remembering what it was like to look up something in your encyclopedia set? Just a few of you, huh? Well, if you can’t recall that grand experience, or you only know what it’s like to look something up on the Internet, it’s okay. This is how I remember it.

First, it was pretty keen if your family could afford to have an encyclopedia set in your home. Any moment, a burning question might surface and you would race to the family bookshelf, pull out the chosen, gold-lettered volume, and ferret out your answer — just like that!

Second, once you found what you needed, it was tough to put the encyclopedia down. The books were stuffed full of facts you didn’t know! So much to learn from those smooth, glossy pages. You might stumble upon pictures of ugly bugs, long-dead dinosaurs, far away countries, or the anatomy of the sexes! And, there was a book for each letter of the alphabet … plus year books! 

Third, some encyclopedias had long, fancy names. Ours was called Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia! Name-dropping alert: sometime later, I was told that we were related to Mr. Funk who started the whole thing with Mr. Wagnall. Cool! 

funk+wagnalls

Fourth, our set filled a whole bookshelf! All by itself! It felt rather rich to have an entire bookshelf of encyclopedias. They stood up so straight and steady; like little towers of wisdom.

Fifth, encyclopedias have been around for over 2,000 years; my Funk & Wagnalls, since 1912. Take that, Internet!

Even though I love the Internet, and it’s a might cheaper than my encyclopedias were at the time, my heart still goes out to those well-trodden books, where any morsel of knowledge could be found on a lazy afternoon without waiting for it to boot up.

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Posted by on September 12, 2013 in Books, TV

 

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A perfect reading scene … minus the mouse!

Woman reading at table with mouse. Photographer unknown – circa 1935

Like her, I used to read while I ate, but kept losing my place and letting my eggs get cold. I also chose not to add a mouse to my breakfast scene, as it would have been another unwanted distraction from my reading!

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2013 in Books, Food, Photos

 

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Even toys gotta read!

Smarth LEGO minifigure reading near bookcase.

Good to see this little guy take time out from being “toyed” with to relax and read a bit. I wonder what he’s reading. It’s a thick book! Could it be Gone With the Wind? Or, maybe it’s Game of Thrones. How about Harry Potter? It could be War and Peace too. Gosh, I’m probably disturbing him.

Quietly tiptoeing off to find my own book.  Shh…

LEGO Creation by smarth

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2013 in Books, LEGO, Photos

 

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“I have given up reading books; I find it takes my mind off myself.” Oscar Levant

As a parent of a 15-year-old text hound, I couldn’t resist posting this!

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Books, Cartoon

 

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It is still reading.

It's still reading...

1948 London

As a kid who devoured Archie, Superman, and Classic Illustrated comics, I didn’t like it very much when adults criticized me for reading them. I’m joyful when any child reads, whether it be books or comics, instead of watching TV. It is still reading.

When my sister and I were young, my mother would bribe us with fresh new comics to keep us engaged while getting her hair done. I couldn’t wait to open up mine and magically be anywhere else but in that hair salon! It led to a lifetime of literature.

I’m so grateful to J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter novels; novels that were responsible for more children, especially boys, discovering the rapture of reading. And, for those who say children could read better books than Harry Potter…just be thankful they are still reading. 

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Books

 

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What are you gonna read? I don’t know, what are you gonna read?

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When I’m in the mood for reading a new book, different from any I’ve read before, I sometimes go hunting for a “book about books.” From a bookseller’s perspective, this is not a novel written with books as a story point, but instead a non-fiction book that describes, lists, or critiques other books. It could be purely a bibliography: a listing of an author’s works. It could refer to a particular category: mystery, gardening, film, etc. It could also just be about the simple love of books and reading. Whichever it is, a “book about books” can be a great reference; just the help I need to begin my new quest.

One of my favorite used bookstores, Magers & Quinn, has a section named “Books On Books,” as many used and new bookstores do. If your store doesn’t have one, you might try their “Reference” section. Another place to check is with your local library. Oh, and don’t forget to search online; you can use words like “bibliography,” “checklist,” or “book list.” Enjoy your book stalking!

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2013 in Books

 

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“He that loves reading has everything within his reach.” – William Godwin

LEVO Hands Free Book Stand

I don’t know about you, but, for me, reading has to be physically comfortable or it compromises my reading pleasure. And, for those who have neck issues, comfortable can be hard to attain! So, I’m on the quest for a book holder. This one looks like it might work! It is a LEVO hands-free book stand that I discovered on Amazon.com. Got some questions though…

Would I make it through “Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book” before drifting off?

Would the “The Giant Book of Poetry” by William Roetzheim be too portly to stay tethered?

Would I finish reading “Cat Versus Human” by Yasmine Surovec before my cat climbed the stand?

Would Amazon throw in the chair for free? 

All very important questions, you know.  What do you think?

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Books

 

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