One of the things I love to do is read books that are written in or based in other time periods. I enjoy period writing because it puts you in eras that you didn’t get to experience on your own. But one thing that's really interesting is to read a book set within your own time and come to realize of how much things have changed just in however long you’ve been living.
I tend to forget that, when I was younger, folks didn’t have computers in their houses and many companies who had computers started out with only having a few, depending on the size of the company. My mom used to work for a major insurance company and even she remembers when a computer & all that was needed for it to work properly basically took up a whole office. Even though I can recall not having a computer at home, not typing papers out but writing them all by hand, it’s hard to recall that there was a time with fax machines, computers and even cell phones were not a part of our daily lives…and I didn’t get my 1st cell phone until 11 or 12 years ago!
Then also, I read books that are set in the future…and the future is 5-20 years from NOW. It’s so funny to me when I sit a think about it. I just finished reading The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, which begins set in 2025 with a collapsed government & dying resources. Hmmm. Not even 12 years down the road. And I’ve also been reading a trilogy by Frank Peretti and the 1st two books in the trilogy are set in the 80s and early 90s. No cell phones, one fax machine in a town, newspapers still put together with printing presses. I mean, who even thinks about that when today, damn near everybody has some level of tech savvy…no matter how old you are. Toddlers know how to work a phone & so do 60, 70 & 80 year olds. And newborns & toddlers today will never really experience writing a paper by hand. I mean, I remember writing out paper after paper, and I having to wait until I got to school to ask for a pass to the computer lab so I could go type my paper up. Oh, and typing a paper on typewriter! Who still uses those? Other than Danielle Steele? Even when I got to college I would write my papers out before I went to type them in the computer lab. Now, if I sit to write anything longer than a grocery list, my wrist starts hurting, my handwriting gets sloppy & looks kind of stroke-ish and my fingers start to hurt from holding the writing utensil. How crazy is that! I mean, seriously, all we really write out now is our name…if we can’t use an electronic signature. LOL. So to read a book & go into a time where those seemingly simple conventions that we have today don’t exist, that staged during my lifetime, I have to sit back and say “oh yeah…those didn’t always exist.”
That’s what I love, love, love about reading. Aside from getting read about different cultures, different eras & different ideals (albeit from a sometimes biased point of view), you get different viewpoints & ideals from many different backgrounds, because different people experience the same thing in different ways. I’ve retained more history from reading fiction & looking up historical info on a little bit of fact than I did from the entire time I was in school! I still suck at dates & some names, but the information… like Ragu, it’s in there!
That’s what I love about the library. As much I love to buy books and as much as I love my Kindle, some books that are 20 & 30 years old have the same list price as books that are written today, and I’m not looking to spend that much on EVERY book I buy. Then you have books by authors that you don’t know, that are recommended to you by friends or your bookseller sites & you want to try them out, so you go to the library, grab 1 or 2…or 10, and read away. It’s awesome! If you get a book that is a dud for you, finish it or not, you can always return it. For years I had stopped going to the library because I was on a book-buying-frenzy. Then I bought a few duds…Hola la Biblioteca! Now I’m so swamped with books I can’t finish them in time. But that’s okay with me. LOL