I used to collect old books; hardbacks with gold edges and illustrations. That was before second hand booksellers caught on and hiked up the price. I can only afford to browse these days, but I have a nice if small and selective collection of my own. Not valuable, but that’s probably because I only chose books that I actually wanted to read.

I sometimes wonder if I mortgage my home and gather up as many old books as I can. We’re a throwaway society and it’s only a matter of time till there’s nothing of the past left for us to appreciate. More and more we’re counting on the electronic. Even I have an e-reader. I must admit that they are convenient and much lighter and more compact than hard copies. And there’s no annual dusting necessary.

But I am really grateful that I have grown up with hard copies, new and second hand, and can straddle both sides of the electronic fence. I’ve been taking my grandson to the local library.  He enjoys looking at the illustrations while being read to and discussing the story afterwards. My grandson’s generation will probably be the last to have the pre-electronic experience.  He’s only three, but can manipulate out his mum’s IPhone to find the family photos. He flicks through them like a professional.

I know I can’t fight progress, and that’s too bad, but I can fend it off for a little while.

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