So Much Change – A Word On Books

My daughter is 11. When I think of her life at 11 and my life at 11, I’m stunned by the differences. Let’s go back. [insert dreamlike squiggley transition to the past]

When I was 11, MTV was less than two years old, actually played music videos 24 hours a day, and my sister (14) and I were hopelessly addicted. During every commercial break, we had to turn the channel to MTV to see what was on. And I say “turn the channel” because we literally had to TURN THE CHANNEL. By turning a knob on the television that sat upon the console television which did not work but served as TV stand.

We did not have a microwave or a VCR (though my school had a Beta player) and our phone was attached to the wall, a long cord stretching from the receiver to the base. I’m pretty sure we’d switched from the rotary model to the push button model by this time. Oh, and there was no such thing as call waiting or caller ID. Needless to say, there were no cell phones.

For music, I had albums. Giant, black, grooved discs of vinyl that my sister and I played on our record player. Which wasn’t even attached to a receiver so there was no stereo system to listen to the radio. Just the albums. I was in love with Loverboy, who turned out to be my first concert that same year, at age 11.

Atari was about to burst onto the scene, but we would never own a gaming console. I did have a little hand held football game, which was a series of dashes I moved across the 1 x 2 inch screen. I killed at that game, but I couldn’t play a football video game now to save my life.

Now we return to the present. [more squiggley dream effects]

My daughter has her own cell phone, upon which she texts her friends. She never actually has phone conversations on the phone. That would be silly. She has an iPod Touch (which *I* did not buy), a docking station for said iPod (which *I* did not buy), and a Wii gaming system (which *I* did not buy). She has a television in her room loaded with more than a hundred channels. There are no knobs in sight.

Our phone does not have a cord, our kitchen is fully equipped, and we can watch videos whenever the mood strikes. She also attended her first concert at two weeks old, but that’s because I’m a cooler parent than my parents ever were. (They still don’t own a computer so they’ll never see this.) Oh yeah, and we have a laptop that is smaller than my first record player.

Amazing to see how much has changed in not quite three decades. BUT (here comes the point of all this) my daughter still has a bookshelf in her room. She still reads books. Books printed on paper with lovely covers that go with her wherever she goes.

I do own an eReader (that *I* did not buy – I’m seeing a pattern here) and I like the idea of carrying hundreds of books with one thin little device. But as I’ve watched things fall away – albums, cassettes, video tapes – I’m happy to say books have never fallen away. And though I’m all for progress, I hope they never will.

7 thoughts on “So Much Change – A Word On Books”

  1. Books will always be around, one form or the other. And yes, I mean printed books!
    Trippy to consider what was and wasn’t around when I was 11. Heck, when I was twenty!

  2. Terri Osburn says:

    You’ve gotta love how much has changed yet we’ve had printed books for hundreds of years. I’d hate to imagine 20 or 30 years from now, not being able to go buy a print book.

  3. I got quite a few chuckles at your description of the “primitive” stuff we dealt with, only we thought it was SO high tech at the time. LOL
    I can’t imagine not having printed books. My house would be 1000% less cluttered. 🙂 And I had some serious e-reader envy this past weekend, watching people reading on their iPads and Kindles. But those were still in the minority. There was definitely room for both. 🙂

  4. Terri Osburn says:

    I just lost my own comment. Gah!
    We thought we were doing good when we got boomboxes. We could actually take our music with us! In 3rd grade, I had a portable 8-track player. I was so ahead of my time.
    I don’t see eReaders out much, but my boss has her iPad out using it to watch TV here at work, so I see that all the time. LOL!

  5. Lynnette says:

    OMG… that was too funny. That brought back allot of memories. You know Zebra opened for Loverboy and yes it was a touch tone phone. However, you forgot the fact then when we changed the channel we changed it with a pair of pliers because the knob broke off…LOL Thank God there are still printed books.

  6. Terri Osburn says:

    We sounded odd enough with the turning knob and broken console. LOL! Isn’t it funny how much things have changed? And yet…the books are still here. Whew!

  7. “Amazing to see how much has changed in not quite three decades. BUT (here comes the point of all this) my daughter still has a bookshelf in her room. She still reads books. Books printed on paper with lovely covers that go with her wherever she goes.” That’s true! Books are the most loyal friend for us.

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