Baby Boomer Nostalgia – Real Books you can Smell, Feel and Dust!

Last week I found the most wonderful bookshop Hard to Find Books in Onehunga, Auckland.  For many of us Baby Boomers, the smell, feel and dust on our old books is just as much a part of the experience as the reading itself.  I am fortunate that my step-daughter also loves books and as she now works in this wonderful shop, I intend to spend lots of time immersing myself in the seemingly endless nooks and crannies hiding behind shelves, staircases and headless mannequins! Exploring the categories alone could take up a whole morning!  A treasure trove that does not require Wi-Fi, 3G or Bluetooth!  So in this first visit, I went straight to the self-help categories and my husband went straight to the sports!  We were both in heaven; touching, speed reading, and discovering familiar and not so familiar old books we want to adopt and look after in our own library at home.


Books and Baby Boomers just seem to be the flavor of the month for me.  As a way of meeting other Baby Boomers and becoming involved in the local community, I became a member of Rotary not long after I moved out to the country in South Auckland.  One of our community fund raising projects is a Book Fair, so we have been spending many hours as a Club collecting and sorting second-hand books for sale.  I spent a few hours recently with my fellow Rotarians sorting through boxes and boxes of old donated books which I thoroughly enjoyed.  It was such a trip down memory lane for us all.  We were mostly baby boomers on this occasion, and we all shared stories as we picked through books that taped into our own life experiences, our children’s favorite books, famous sports teams, great writers or just old photographs that recorded our history both in New Zealand and globally.  These paper books held so much more for us than simply a story being told, they were a record of our past, a memory, an experience but mostly a connection for all of us of the changing face of books in our current world. We have had no problems with books being donated as it is an opportunity for many to off load old books and clear out cluttered book shelves.  However, I wondered at the time what the response will be this year to the Book Fair as even in a year the accessibility of on-line books has impacted most of our homes and although many baby boomers still resist, it is fast becoming a way of being.


A good example of this is my husband and I made a big decision recently to do our bit for the planet and stop having our daily newspaper delivered!  It was more my idea than his, but we agreed that we could just change a few habits and it wouldn’t be long before we would have joined the Millennials and we would enjoy reading the news on-line!  We are still in the grieving process and the jury is still out as to whether it’s a permanent decision or just a ‘trial’!  Once we no longer had the paper being delivered on a Friday, we reaIised the gaps in the sports buildup in the on-line version and Mondays is just not the same without the Sports commentary.  I am anxious that I will miss the stories I enjoy that I come across by accident in the paper version… but we persevere not wanting to label ourselves “resistant to change”!!  I have spent the last year practicing more and more to ‘read’ newspapers on line, download books to my IPad to read at will, and reading articles of interest from my computer.  I continue to tell myself that given time, I will forget what it was like to feel the paper between my fingers, get ink on my hands, smell the smell that only old newspapers, books and magazines smell like!

How do you cope with the change from paper to on-line reading?  Share your ideas, tips, or thoughts so we can be part of the change together!


About Patti Gwynne

Patti Gwynne is an ICF Credentialed Leadership and Executive Coach based in Auckland.

Working your way through these processes takes courage! Be kind to yourself and feel free to contact Patti, if you would like a Coach to partner you on this journey.
(Patti offers a no obligation 30minute FREE phone coaching session to get you started).

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