People are always saying that things have shrunk over the years and on the whole I would agree. For example, last week I was given a wagon wheel. When I was a kid finding a wagon wheel in my lunchbox was like a lottery win (although obviously I wouldn’t have thought that exact thought at the time, as it was pre-lottery) The wheel of chocolate that was a wagon were massive and they were much favoured over the usual non branded chocolate biscuits. This time whilst it was very nice, it just seemed very small, more tonka toy wheel than wagon. You could dunk it in a cup of coffee and I’m sure you wouldn’t have been able to do that years ago.
Monster munch, there’s another micro snack. You can’t bite the toes of a pickled onion foot anymore, the whole thing is only one bite.
Music players have shrunk to Lilliputian standards from the big record players you played vinyl on, to the tiny mp3 players people use now. I saw a man walking down the road listening to a portable cd player the other day and even that looked huge.
Books however, I think are the complete opposite. This week I started reading a book by Carl Hiaasen that a friend lent me. Its an old paperback version and it seems tiny. I know it might just be because the last few books I’ve read have been hardbacks which by necessity are much bigger, but even compared to the paperbacks I’ve bought recently it is really small.
I like to think, in my romantic view of the world, that it is all because paper and ink is affordable now. In Georgian times they used to put a pineapple in the middle of their table to prove their wealth. Now we all want to show off our wealth by buying bigger books.
I suspect though that as with so many things, it’s just about greed. People want more for less, more clothes at less money, 300 channels on their tv, triple whopper double bacon burgers, and now to top it all off bigger books.
Of course there is a third argument, that this may just be a ploy by Amazon to sell their kindles. The bigger the books get, the more we are all going to hate carrying them around, hence the more e-books will sell. That would seem a clever bit of marketing! Luckily the smallness of the book isn’t affecting my enjoyment of Carl Hiaasen, although I won’t be buying any wagon wheels in the near future.