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h/t husband: paper hugging over on NPR


My husband sent me a text message with a URL, "via npr", the headline and "card stock huffing". As my regular readers know, we refer to nostalgia drenched articles about the way paper books feel and smell as "book huffing". So what has he found?

http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2014/06/08/318601983/big-moments-get-less-weighty-whatever-happened-to-stiff-paper

Krulwich claims to have just now learned about the term "card stock", which tells us something I've long suspected about many nostalgia buffs: they really haven't been paying attention as these things go along. Obvs, not everyone who prefers card stock based ticketing or paper books is ignorant of terms such as "card stock". For all I know, it is a put-up ignorance, not real, just to "connect" to the reader of the article.

Krulwich notes that we've switched from rectangular bits of card stock to bar codes on regular paper or codes on phones etc. And he evokes the sensations of those old tickets: the corners poking into his leg through the pocket. What he _doesn't_ mention is probably the most vivid memory nearly all of us have of those card stock tickets: the irrevocable tragedy of loss and destruction. Paper money and old-skool paper tickets have this in common: when they are gone, they are gone. Codes printed out on paper, whether a boarding pass or something else, are just there to represent an account which the bearer of the item may or may not have access to, and who may or may not need to produce other evidence before they can actually effect the transfer to or from that account. You find a boarding pass? Won't do you any good without picture ID to match. Lose your boarding pass? Just print another. No printer? Bring your ID and they'll print you one.

Horses are lots of fun. We pay money once a week so they can ride them, as one of their therapies, but honestly, I think it's mostly just because it's a fun thing they can do that they can look back on in later years and go, wow, that was awesome. The card stock that Krulwich mourns is associated with fond memories for him and many others. As implausible as it seems to every generation, the young ones will make the same, strong memories in association with other physical objects, and experience the same poignant sense of loss in turn as they watch another generation be born, grow up, and replace them.

In the mean time, I sure enjoy making fun of this behavior. So many thanks to Team Krulwich, and to my husband for bringing it to my attention!

FWIW, I do have albums of ephemera -- not just photos -- on a shelf. I do participate.