The historical archive was what I expected and more, over 4,000 books of science fiction wow. When we first entered into the room with the seating I remember thinking to myself, where are all the books? Then I saw the door and was eager to go inside, I was excited to see the magazines, what the art work was like and the style of writing that was used. When I finally got my hands on some books I began to thoroughly inspect it. While Feeling the paper and its thickness and smelling the oldness of the paper, it made me think of the old dusty box of books that have been hidden in my basement for like 10 years. When I was younger I had my own little archive of Sci-Fi books. I was obsessed with the Goosebumps, and A Series of Unfortunate Events, and some other things that I can’t really remember. So seeing these books really brought me back to my childhood.
I was so surprised to see advertisement for cigarettes in numerous books. During the time period the books were published cigarettes were like the it thing and were seen as healthy so I can understand its placement. But in modern times you’re unlikely to flip the page of a best-selling novel and find adverts for cigarettes. In magazines, you’ll probably find an advert opposing the use of it. The concept of having page full ads sporadically place throughout a book is an out dated thing. But every book in the archive had ads that had nothing to do with books. Books seemed to replace the use of television a little bit more then compared to now, so the best way to advertise was in books I guess.
One thing I noticed way how interactive the books were. At the back of each was always something linking the readers to something else. Whether it be the follow up story or a website to further the discussion with the author, or something as simple as a subscription. The books seemed to be more than just books, they weren’t something you just pick up, read, and put down. They were like the links of a chain link fence, each part connected to another part, to another, to another, eventually making a web of stories that intertwine and feed off of each other. They consumed the role of modern day television shows that go on and on, starting with episodes that eventually lead to multiple seasons.
The fact that the anonymous donator managed to keep everything so organize and under such great condition is astonishing to me. My little archive is a hot mess and it only consists of maybe 100 to 150 books, and this guy had 4,000, kudos to him. The science fiction archive visit allowed me to physically hold pieces of history. I got the opportunity to hold literature that was decades older than me, some older than my mom, which is amazing. The visit even rekindled my obsession I had as a child, maybe in like 50 years I’ll donate some old goosebumps books I have lingering around.