The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Some Novels Allow Readers to Relive Personal Days of Yore

As you can see, I've had this copy of Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot for a long time. It's been through many hands and shows it. In an age of electronic books and shiny, plastic e-readers, there's something undeniably comforting in that.

Still, written in the 1970s, set in 1975, this novel takes me back. Those were my high school and early college years and I am reminded about how things were. In the novel, most of the characters smoke ... I don't miss that one. The main character is a writer using a manual typewriter to get the job done. There are no computers, cell phones, iPods, iPads, iAnythings, social networks, or Garmin type gadgets to get around with. A Cadillac Coupe de Ville cost $10,000 (and that was a huge price). Social networking meant meeting your friends, family, lovers at locations agreed upon in a phone call or a letter. Now, in 'Salem's Lot, people still had a party line ... and that was very rural. We never had such a thing, nor did anyone we knew. Drive in theaters were still going strong as well ... he hasn't mentioned bowling, but bowling alleys were thriving.

However, he does have one character loading up the turntable with multiple records to play over time. That brought back memories. Loading the turntable with four or five records, allowing each to drop and play one side and then move on to the next record and so on until the last record had dropped. Then you had to decide if you wanted to hear all those B sides. 

Now, really, truly, I don't miss that world. But I do miss buying things with no service agreements attached. Owning a thing free and clear and using it without having to pay a monthly fee to continue receiving service to that thing ... like TV.

It's fun to hang onto an old novel and revisit the world as it used to be. It's also rewarding to pass that old novel down to someone else and let them enter a world they are too young ever to have known.

Here's to reading!

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