I hear a lot — a lot — from my sons about Pokemon and Sonic the Hedgehog, which I assume is some sort of karmic payback for all those Dukes of Hazzard and Mork & Mindy plotlines I regaled my mom with circa 1980. And I respond with roughly the same amount of enthusiasm as she surely must have.

Both boys have been on a video-game-related-book kick lately, and yesterday’s trip to the library was no exception. Four-year-old F wanted to renew our previous haul of Pokemon chapter books, which we did not do. But while I was following him around as he picked books in his inimitable, indiscriminate way (in big alpha-ordered clumps), nine-year-old S was getting some help from the librarian in finding what he was looking for.

“There’s something I need upstairs,” S announced when he found us. “Upstairs,” meaning “in the adult section” — far from the typical Sega- and Nintendo-related fare. We soon found the book he was looking for, Martin Campbell-Kelly’s From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog: A History of the Software Industry.

Obviously, the character’s name in the title attracted S to this one, but I also wonder how much influence the librarian had in him seeking out this book, even though it meant a trudge upstairs. Of course, for all I know, she may have tried to talk him out of it. “That’s probably not what you’re looking for,” I can imagine a reasonable librarian saying in that situation. And I know from personal experience how well such an attempt at dissuasion would work with him.

He began skimming the book not long after he got home, and he pronounced it “cool.” Whatever forces were at work in his selection of From Airline Reservations, S has had his horizons expanded a little, by his own choice, and in pursuit of knowledge of a subject that means little to me. Truth be told, it’s a subject that I might (just might) tend to be somewhat dismissive of, but having been freshly reminded of the absolute unpredictability of where a person’s interests can lead him, I think I’ll redouble my efforts to keep my parental mind open and trap closed.