I appreciate my Dad and Mom putting great love for reading deep inside me when I was a small boy. I have traveled the world one page at a time.
When I was about six years old my parents bought a 1973 set of World Book Encyclopedias. It was a big deal in our house. I remember very clearly what Dad told me about the encyclopedias. He said, "Davy, if you read every word of these books, you will be a very smart man." I do not know if I read every word on every page, but I discovered an amazing world by spending many, many hours reading the encyclopedia.
Dad and I used to lay in the living room floor with a volume of the encyclopedias open pouring over maps or facts about amazing places. In the years since, I would be home and we would be talking about something and Dad would grab the encyclopedia and find out what it said about the subject or look at the map.
I know this for sure. I did look at every page in every volume and I looked at many of the pages multiple times. I can not tell you how much enjoyment I found in those books. Reading opened the world to me. I left home in 1985 and I was not the smartest young man in the world. However, I was a whole lot smarter than I would have been without those books.
Those books are still on the shelves at Dad and Moms.
Now we have more information at our fingertips in our phones than 1000 set of encyclopedias. I do not even know if they still sell them. (I just checked, Amazon has The World Book 2019 set for $800.) Do families buy them? I hope so and I hope kids still read them.
I never bought a new set, but I bought a set of Funk and Wagnall Encyclopedias at a thrift store for like $12.50 in the early 90s. They were old, but I traveled the world for many, many hours using those books as my transportation. I gave them away when we hit the road in 2003, but now I have another set of my own.
Steve and Karen bought a set of Encyclopedia Brittanica about 1990 ish and they gave them to me a few months ago. They have been sitting on the floor of my study, but now they are back on a bookcase and I enjoyed a few pages in one yesterday.