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Childcraft Vol. 3: World and Space

I quite like designing things, but I am hamstrung by the fact that I can't draw.

Something I have turned to frequently for design inspiration of late is the 1970 edition of the Childcraft encyclopedia -- the edition with which I grew up. My set disappeared sometime after I moved out of home, but I recently found the same edition in pristine condition (N.B. correct usage of "pristine") on eBay and bought them for nostalgia's sake. I was not disappointed; I remember every page so well, especially the amazing illustrations and graphic design, that flipping through the volumes is an exercise in goosebumps.

How to use a road map

How to use a road map

Aside from the design of this blog, it's impossible to estimate how much of an effect these books had on my life. I read about Mozart and Gandhi and Benjamin Franklin for the first time in a Childcraft encyclopedia. I learned to recite nearly all of the first volume's poems in my early speech and drama lessons. I used to wish I lived in America because so much of the content was US-centric (mostly I wanted to track rabbit, deer, and foxes because Australian animals just seemed so boring).

I hope some of my friends with kids get sets of these for their own children. I know kids have the Internet et cetera now, but there is something wonderful about the permanence of these books. Maybe the best part about reading through them now as an adult is revisiting all the completely outdated information. Sounds syrupy, but it not only pushes all my nostalgia buttons, but makes me feel good about the world to see how far we've progressed.

Posted by mormolyke 16:54 Tagged blog Comments (2)

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