Christmas always make me want to have a sort out. I hate all the clutter that gathers during this period.
This year’s target has been my bookshelves. I am a terrible hoarder when it comes to books, especially if they are a) old, or b) anything to do with cars or history.
Tucked between a history of Fleet Street and a sports car almanac from 1955 I have around 50 copies of National Geographic, given to me as a child. At the time they were a fairly unusual and bulky gift, but seemed invaluable for school projects. You just never knew when, as a nine year old, you might be asked to write an essay on Nahanni or The Aleutians. This was before the internet became available at home or even at school. Any resource that avoided a trip to the school library was invaluable.
These 50 copies were my World Wide Web. Now though, I didn’t even read the articles about those subjects listed above. I simply Googled the names and read a bit about them on Wikipedia.
This speed of access is a good thing, but sad at the same time because I probably won’t remember what or where the Nahanni is. I would have actually learnt something new and interesting if I made time to read the article.
Come the New Year though, these National Geographic will go to a charity shop, to be replaced by more books on subjects I already know about. And I suspect my brain will be a poorer place for it.