2020-01-03 00:04:02 UTC
My first exposure to Asimov's work was the classic short story "The Fun They Had," which we had to read in school and analyze (with a partner) when we were 8.
Trouble is, even if I had read the first paragraph properly...
Margie even wrote about it that night in her diary. On the page headed May 17, 2157, she wrote, "Today, Tommy found a real book!"
...I STILL wouldn't have been able to grasp the idea of a story that takes place in the future; chances are I had never heard of such a thing, at the time!
Which kind of hurt my understanding of the assignment!
Not to mention that since the 1990s or so, it's become impossible to read the story in the same way. (Not that most parents would really want their kids homeschooled in that particular manner; neither of Margie's parents is her "teacher," after all.)
But there's still at least one other distinctive prediction that HASN'T come true:
They turned the pages, which were yellow and crinkly, and it was awfully funny to read words that stood still instead of moving the way they were supposed to--on a screen, you know. And then, when they turned back to the page before, it had the same words on it that it had had when they read it the first time.
"Gee," said Tommy, "what a waste. When you're through with the book, you just throw it away, I guess. Our television screen must have had a million books on it and it's good for plenty more. I wouldn't throw IT away."
In other words, kids of the future aren't even expected - or allowed - to read any page or book more than once! (Though it's not clear whether this has more to do with kids' impatience or parents' impatience.)
You can read the whole thing here: