As you might imagine, we're doing a fair bit of downsizing at the moment and one of the things I did this morning was pack up another load of books for Oxfam. I was thinking of including the set of Children's Britannica encyclopaedias that my father bought for my sister and me in the 1970s. In the end though I couldn't do it. It was for sentimental reasons, but not the most immediately obvious ones. As I picked up a random volume, letnit fall open, and read an article about caterpillars, I realised that I wanted to be able to show this to my granddaughter; to show her how once upon a time information was found in books, rather than pulled via a computer from the ether... And then I thought, she'll have the last laugh when there's a power cut and she has homework about caterpillars to complete... I'm not a luddite, but I am a bit of a pessimist and I'm not convinced the internet will be around forever - all that electricity it needs - whereas books last for centuries with no maintenance and minimal care. I know what my money would be on for long term data storage.
I also packed away a basket full of sparkly scarves and pretty beads and bracelets, so that one day I can show her that you don't need a bubblegum pink Barbie dress and a plastic tiara to dress up as a princess.