Evening spent with Dad talking about books he grew up with – the ones that got him into history, like the set of Harmsworth History of the World they had in the house. His dad read all eight (or was it ten?) volumes. He remembered visiting with his dad the local Left Book Club, in Feilding of all places, probably in the nineteen-forties. They bought a book each.
I’d given him a copy of Jason Epstein’s speech to the Tools of Change conference. Contrast the world Epstein talks of (book making machines on every sub-Saharan street corner) with the one in which Dad wrote his thesis: there were a handful of really really important documents he had to get copied. But no photocopying in that world, instead – at great expense – he could get a few photostats of the most valuable. That was less than sixty years ago.
Where to put these memories? The ones that fit somewhere between the ephemeral of blog and the solidity of print. Ephemeral will be fine for now but somehow we have to remember all this.