The Book Dude


Now you see it.  Now you don’t.

Today, I was just thinking about Door-to-Door Encyclopedia Salesmen.  They fell into extinction, just like the dinosaurs.  I miss them.

It was the coolest thing when one of them did stop by your house.  They would have their “bags” that they carried with them.  They were more like square boxes.  It reminded me of Mary Poppins when they would hoist up one of those cases onto the living room coffee table.

Carefully, they would unlatch the little locks on the top.  Click. Click.

The top would unfold, and Mr. Encyclopedia would reach inside and begin pulling out copies of Encyclopedia Brittanica.  And not just any old copy.  These were leather bound, with faux hand crafted pages.  The edges were adorned with gold.  They smelled so great.

The photos inside were mostly in color.  This was ground breaking.  And the volumes were named things like Ca – Cer ….. and ……   Tro – Tw.  It was Coolio beyond words.

Once, Mom bought a set.  I about jumped right out of my skin that day.  Those were big, big times.

Now, stimulus has to be super-sized, ultra-intense, 3-D,  supersonic, bells and whistle blazing, good… before anyone pays attention.

We should… just for a while… bring back door-to-door salesman.  And….phone booths, penny candy, the Fuller-Brush-Man, and paperback dictionaries.

A few more to add to the list….
Black Jack Gum
Film Cameras
Chalk Board Dusters
Adding Machines
Home Permanents
Full-Service Gas Station Attendants

Sometimes, I just long for things that are tactile and slow.
Don’t get me wrong.  As I sit here on my laptop, and draw on my Wacom Tablet… and look up information on the internet… I am drawn to … and happy with  …. the wonders of technology.

But sometimes, I just long to smell a crisp encyclopedia and here the click, click of the salesman’s case.

That’s all.  Just a simple thing now and again.
Just  to get… a little bit of the simple back.