Phew! Now that I've effectively dragged you against your will into the cellar with me, halting all conversation and thereby proving that I'm not the only one intimidated by the dark, I shall now divert us all with something totally banal.
A few days-off ago, I went to the library. The library I went to as a child is still the library I borrow from as an adult, but as I don't have reason to go to that corner of the county very often, I hadn't actually been there in years. It didn't help that I keep losing my library card, either.
That day I decided I hadn't been reading lately because nothing was inspiring me, so I had best hie myself over there and find something that would. This morning, being the dawn of another day off, my mind automatically turned to the library as I catalogued my options for activity for the day. As I was contemplating the library in general, I started reminiscing and I thought to myself:
Does anyone else remember when books were not electronically tagged? Do you remember when you had to sign a card that they kept in a box, and they stamped the due date in a little envelope glued to your book which was a lot easier to reference than a receipt you could lose? But how on earth did they make sure books didn't go walking without being genuinely checked out, when they didn't have those scanner things at the door that beep if you try to leave with an illicitly borrowed book?
Also, does anyone remember card catalogues? I hated those things. Mostly because to me they meant research, and I don't like research. Plus you had to flip through so much stuff before you found what you were looking for. But they were attractive pieces of furniture. I remember when libraries tried to sell theirs off. I thought it would be nice to buy one, except what in the world would you do with such a thing? It's big and unwieldy and even if you could find an infinitessimal number of tiny things with which to fill the long but tiny drawers, there were all those metal rods running down the middle of each one, that the cards used to ride on. I like to imagine making useful things out of formerly-useful other things, but I have yet to come up with anything that could possibly render a defunct card catalogue as useful for anything other than taking up space.
Not that I have one, but any suggestions? Or does anyone care to submit more reminiscences of obsolete articles?