This was not the length of an epic novel, a religious text, or even a schoolbook. It was the exact number of pages in the brake parts book today I saw at the mechanic.
What is more incredible is that with all of the information contained inside, he was still able to find the precice part and price within seconds. I think it's all something we have seen before. The yellow pages for instance. It just baffles my mind that all of this could be done without a computer just a decade or so ago. Tens of thousands of pieces of inventory all thoughtfully organized, indexed, sketched, named, printed and bound.... all for a single distributor. When I think of the thousands of other places that have similar catalogs my mind is baffled. How many people spent their entire careers making these fucking books! Tractor parts, military equipment, sprinkler systems, inground pool supplies, playground equipment. Then I think of the detailed instructions included with each piece of eqiupment, and with each tool that is used to install each piece.