In 1959, we were a single income family, even though both of my parents were college graduates. My dad was making decent money working in a field not known for particularly good incomes. Still with five children, the budget was sometimes a tad tight. So, when my folks decided to buy a World Book Encyclopedia with all the trimmings, including ten years of “yearbooks” and a large (no, REALLY large, “library-sized”) two-volume dictionary set, our lil family library grew by almost 25% overnight, and I found my backup reading material for the next few years.
Yes, there was always at least one volume of the set under my bed, close enough for a night time “sneak read”. Sometimes, it was just one of the two dictionary volumes (yes, for reading), but most often it was just a volume chosen according to some topic that had caught my fancy, then kept for further reading as one article led to another and another and…
And that’s how I get to be a kid again. For the last 18 years the web has been my go-to reading material for times when I’ve exhausted my stash of new books. It’s also been my substitute for an encyclopedia, since I never run out of things to learn. And thanks to my *cough* encyclopedic reading habits over the years, I have a skill set and basic knowledge base that allows me to filter out most crap.
And the resources–good quality resources–are effectively limitless, now, and not confined to one book case. Heck, I find myself re-reading classics online that are in a book case that’s literally within the reach of my right hand as I type these words.
And on top of being a library with more than enough resources to keep me in learning material for life, the web’s a source of amusement (dumbasses a-plenty to poke fun at! Yipee! *heh*), entertainment (I have a full movie list at Crackle, for example), contemporary information (I’ll not say it’s “news”) and interpersonal interactions.
But most of all, it’s a resource just jam packed with information that’s either new to me or in a new format that makes sense in a different way or old information that’s fun to re-read, review and cogitate over.
Sweet. Kid. In a candy store. Unlimited candy budget.
*sigh* I’ve entered my second childhood.