Did you use a card catalogues, SRA kits?

happy book

I watch the people go by, peering at their cell phone screens, iPads and tablets. This is how my teen kiddos interact with the written word. They can even read novels on those tiny cell phone screens. It makes me long for the simpler times, and wax nostalgic over some retro reading practices. Take a look below. Did you ever….

1. Read with a flashlight under the covers? It was the old school equivalent to the Kindle and a great way to sneak a book after bedtime rolled around.

2. Use a card catalogue? I remember the musty smell of those old wooden drawers, crammed with little treasure maps that would miraculously guide you to the exact spot on the shelves where you’d find your quarry. Not a computer screen in sight!

3. Read from an SRA kit? Those manilla card things that were all color coded? It was a real thrill to reach “aqua” or whatever color was my next level. Talk about old school!

So what do you remember from your “throwback” reading days? Were there any books/habits that stand out in your memory? Giving away a VISA gift card, a signed book and a February surprise this month. 

14 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by susanmsj on February 6, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I did use a card catalog and SRA cards. I don’t think I ever read under the covers, but I did read late into the night.

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  2. Posted by Suzan Michet on February 6, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Card Catalogs – I was a library helper in grade school and I well remember those little wooden drawers ! I loved the library right from when I could read. Never saw the SRA kits, and didn’t use a flashlight under the covers, but tried to use the light drifting in from the hall to read past my time …

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  3. I still read under the covers when my husband is trying to sleep and my book light is shining in his face! And I almost forgot about those SRA cards back in elementary school. Aahh….those were the days.

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  4. Posted by Valri Western on February 6, 2015 at 12:34 am

    I did all those things! Ah, the memories!!! Just having you mentioning them brings all kinds of visual pictures to my mind….thanks, Dana! Good times!!!! I almost feel sorry for kids today. Having to WORK for answers to questions gave you a feeling of satisfaction. Kids just want instant gratification these days! It sure would have been nice to write those term papers a little faster though 🙂 One things though, my kids all did the “flashlight under the covers” thing so I’m not THAT old!!!!!

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  5. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of an SRA kit… though I might have and just don’t remember it. I have used a card catalogue a couple times– my mom made us learn how. ;P As for reading under the covers with a flashlight… I did that all the time!! I also (and don’t tell my mom I admitted to this) would prop up my school book to read it & then I would slip my book inside so that I could read it instead. Honestly, I think my mom knew I did that, but I still got my school work done well so she never said anything about it.

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  6. Posted by mary branham on February 5, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    I loved the old library ways. I used the card catalog and I still like to hold the book in my hands. I worked for a large printing company and so did my husband and I feel guilty when I use my kindle. Usually only for travel. Any time my mom wanted me to do something hard she would take my library card and I would get it done to get my card back. That is how I learned my multiplication tables.

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  7. I remember doing all of the above! I was just talking to my 8 year old daughter the other day about SRA’s! My poor teacher didn’t know what to do with me, because I breezed through all of the levels before the school year was even half over! She had to come up with new things to challenge me.

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  8. Card catalogs! I love those little wooden drawers that held all the secrets of the library. My mother was a volunteer who put on a preschool reading program at the library every Saturday morning. I’d go along, and occasionally help with by running a filmstrip or something, but mostly I had the hour to browse, collect another week’s worth of reading, and enjoy being surrounded by books. Afterward I got a dime to spend on a cherry coke at the drugstore two doors down.

    The card catalog was center stage in that library, and every time I see a piece of furniture with little drawers, a wave of nostalgia carries me back to my childhood, and I remember the library.

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