National Geographic booklets.
SOME of us are old enough to remember that subscribing to the snooty National Geographic used to be no easy thing. We had to find someone who was already a subscriber - or ''member'' of the National Geographic Society of Washington DC - to nominate us.
Once we had paid our money, we had to wait weeks for a passing ship from the US to deliver our magazine but it always seemed worth the wait. No other publication compared with it for the sheer brilliance of its photos.
This was the era of Kodachrome - when we first subscribed it was Kodachrome 16 ASA. Kodachrome transparencies reproduced on true white, glossy paper and gave a brilliant, richly saturated image. We thought of it as essentially American - a little brighter and a little richer than the dull world we lived in.
These days any Tom, Dick or Harriet can get a 12-month subscription for the National Geographic on iPad or Android tablet for about $20. What's more, the electronic version is interactive - touch the screen here and there for additional information, zooming in, playing videos and so on. And the fondly remembered visual richness is still there.