I remember when Mom bought a set of World Book Encyclopedias from the door-to-door salesman. Back then, the salesmen drove from farm to farm selling their goods. I’m sure making a sale was like a big bonus to them to go along with the cookies and coffee offered.
Mom wanted to go to school to be a librarian in her younger years, but she didn’t have that opportunity. So she made sure we had books to read at home. In addition to scouring the encyclopedia for information about anything you wanted to know about everything near and far, I had a stack of “Little Golden Books” from the Five and Dime store and a subscription to Highlights magazine, which from its first publication in 1946, was the “gold standard” periodical for children. School Scholastic book sales were like a candy store. When we moved to town, our house was down the block from the library, and Mom made sure I had a library card. I was raised to love books.
Oddly enough, I struggled with reading at first and was in the “special group”. It seems like learning didn’t come easily to me, but it was like a breath of fresh air when the words fit together, and it clicked. Finally, I could share Mom’s love of reading, and the opportunities for exploration seemed endless.
Technology replaced encyclopedias, and now we can be world explorers and armchair experts with the internet at our fingertips. What could be better for the bibliophile, right?
Truthfully, it’s more important now than ever to discern the multitude of information we have at our disposal. As the volume of information increases, the temptation is to cut corners and accept the first communication as truth. First place isn’t always best or correct.
Bethany Hamilton was a Christian 13 year old surfer who suffered the loss of her left arm from a shark attack. It almost ended her aspirations to continue surfing professionally. She made a comeback after a period of soul searching and training with modifications to her surfboard and eventually earned 5th place in the National Scholastic Surf Association finals. Today, her story is an inspiration to others and an encouragement to “never give up”. Her 5th place win was a 1st place accomplishment.
Exploration calls for digging much deeper than the surface, and truth be told, I still would rather explore in the pages of a book than on a keyboard.
The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. Proverbs 14:18