Tuesday, May 11, 2021
May 11, 2021

Linkedin Pinterest

Check It Out: Ditch gadgets, go retro with reading


Did you know that April 11 is National Eight-Track Tape Day? My parents had an eight-track player when I was a kid, and believe it or not, I thought it was pretty cool. I can still hear the “ka-chunk” of the cartridge going into the player and the loud “clicks” in between songs. My favorite memory of listening to eight-track tapes didn’t happen at home but on a lake. My great-aunt and -uncle lived in the same small town as my family in southern Nevada. One year my uncle won a local contest in which the grand prize was a three-day houseboat trip on Lake Mead. There were seven of us who went on the trip, and I have to say it was a hoot. The houseboat came equipped with an eight-track player and a small collection of tapes. If we had known this ahead of time, we probably would have brought some tapes of our own because our choice of music was polka … and polka. So, forevermore, eight-track tunes remind me of polka music.

This topic has put me into a groovy retro vibe, so of course, I just had to create a retro reading list. Not that I want to return to clunky eight-track cartridges, but there are other reasons to celebrate the past – maybe through clothing, hairstyles, cars or child-rearing. I was a child-to-preteen in the 1970s, so I find myself feeling a certain nostalgia for life before computers and smartphones (just not eight-track players or the abundance of gold, avocado and orange d’ecor). Maybe your retro vibe embraces a different decade, and that’s all right. Paying tribute to the past, no matter the decade, can be out of sight. Can you dig it?

  • “Classic Car: The Definitive Visual History” edited by Chauney Dunford.
  • “Retro Baby: Cut Back on All the Gear and Boost Your Baby’s Development with More Than 100 Time-Tested Activities” by Anne H. Zachary.
  • “Retro Mama Scrap Happy Sewing: 18 Easy Sewing Projects for DIY Gifts and Toys from Fabric Remnants” by Kim Kruzich.
  • “Simply Retro with Camille Roskelley: Fresh Quilts from Classic Blocks” by Camille Roskelley.
  • “The Steampunk User’s Manual: An Illustrated Practical and Whimsical Guide to Creating Retro-Futurist Dreams” by Desirina Boskovich.
  • “Sweater Girls: 20 Patterns for Starlet Sweaters, Retro Wraps, & Glamour Knits” by Madeline Weston.
  • “Vintage Hairstyles: Simple Steps for Retro Hair with a Modern Twist” by Emma Sundh.

Jan Johnston is the collection development coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries. Email her at readingforfun@fvrl.org.