Evolution of Paper

Technology, there is no debate about it, is growing and expanding faster than we can keep up with it. Digital photography has outpaced the print photo and is one of the (many) driving forces for improved capacity in storage of data. Although, we don’t have to store the bad photos anymore, we can take as many as we like and delete the rest. Do we consider the same of books and – more precisely – year books? While there is an evolution, of paper and print, do we treat them all with the same critical opinion and casual attitude?

I have purchased a yearbook (again this year) for each of my children as I have since our eldest was in Kindergarten. I admit, that first year, I didn’t pre-order…but as I have been told recently, there are certain childhood memories that tug at your parental heart strings when your child reminds you of them. Brutally honest, they are…those kids.

Why didn’t I buy my 5 year old a year book? Well, for one, she was in KINDERGARTEN! That’s it. One reason. Did I need to have another?

Now, as they have each grown through elementary, into middle and yes, even high school, I don’t make this mistake – while I may miss the pre-order discount (there was a serious discussion and we chose NOT to pre-order the freshman year annual – it was $85 on pre-order…) and then in June we ended up buying one anyway at the $100 full boat, rip-off price. (Note: While our college year books were free, I fully understand that we paid for it… oh, and you pay even more now.)

I say rip off – just in case you are judging me even more… because there are about 3 to 5 pictures of the average kid in the year book and that takes into consideration the above average kids who skew the numbers and the fact that mine are usually in there once. Yup, you guessed it, in the portrait that I already bought and is now sitting on the shelf for all to see.

I recently threw away my husband’s and my college yearbooks, except for the year we each graduated (ripping out a few that had shots from casual (aka bar) scenes and group shots that happened to capture us or friends of ours. These are not available in digital form, without the paper book, we wouldn’t be able to see these images – ever again – so I made a difficult decision to keep them.

While the evolution of paper is continuing every day… sometimes it is more of a revolution against having so much of it. It is slowly taking root but there are some serious hold outs. Why? Books. Photos to hang on the wall or prop up on the piano for family viewing and friendly humiliation. Origami (because it is art and we always have to have art!) E-bills vs. the mounds of paper envelopes we have to throw away (including the return payment envelope which I never use because I pay online…) I could go on but I won’t belabor the point. I just want to know when my kids will decide to throw away not 3 (or 6 because I did it for my spouse’s benefit, too) but 12 yearbooks that they no longer want to store on a shelf collecting dust.

~ Dawn aka Hat Girl

Just one small pile of yearbooks

PS You can even see the dust on this one (look at the bottom left.) No, I do not dust in my children’s rooms – do NOT judge me.

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