Wistful for Dusty Ol’ Library Basements

I’ll be honest, I’m not usually a pine-for-the-old-days kind of gal.

Sure, I absolutely adore old movies and prefer writing actual letters (yes, in my own frilly cursive) to e-mail any day of the week, but you won’t see me giving up electricity and “living off the land” any time soon. After all, I enjoy all the perks of modern life too much to go granola.

Although I was a little late to the party, I’m still in awe of my cell phone’s multi-tasking powers and love that I never have to miss my favorite TV shows again, thanks to the wonders of DVR. And given my perpetually direction-challenged nature and how I now live in a place with practically 2,353 different freeways, I’m a big, big fan of Greta, my GPS (and yes, I named her).

And high-speed Internet? How did I ever manage without that? Oh wait, I endured that lovely hissing sound and loud “You’ve got mail” declaration from AOL.

As far as music goes, I like to kick it old-school and listen to entire albums (like my favorite artists intended) on a fairly regular basis. Still, I have to admit my iPod is a pretty great disc jockey, too. Not only does she (and yes, because she’s hot pink, I’ve decided it’s a girl!) provide a great soundtrack while I’m working, but I never have to hear any hideous Top-40 music unless I personally selected it.

Sweet.

All that said, however, I’ll admit I was more than a little saddened by something I read online yesterday. Sure, it was inevitable, but I still couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that Amazon.com’s digital book download sales have now far surpassed that of traditional books of the paper and hardback variety.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for reading—however people want to do it. I’m an author, after all, so any way we can get masses to forgo Facebook, TV and, well, pick up a book, I’m all for it. Truth be told, these e-readers have plenty of appeal since they’re all nice and portable and perfect for traveling. And when paired with one of Kate Spade’s too-cute-for-words cases, it’s also quite the fashion statement. But as cool as they are, I still find myself resisting…

While I know the tides are changing, I’m just not ready for books to become dinosaurs. In fact, some of my favorite childhood memories involved holing up in a dusty basement of books at our local library. When you live in a small town, your library card is like your passport, and it’s there where I discovered everything from Deenie (quite a scandalous read when you’re 13) to Anne of Green Gables to The Great Gatsby and so many more.

Plus, for anyone who’s ever been to our house, books are a major part of the Banister’s decor, thanks to one giant IKEA bookshelf that’s stuffed to the gills with theology, travel guides, biographies and plenty of fiction, too, not to mention that ever-growing stack of novels on our nightstand.

So suffice it to say, I couldn’t imagine living in a world without pages to actually turn. And as it turns out, I’m not alone (whew!). While flipping through the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly, namely the “Summer Must Lists,” I found a kindred spirit in actor Tom Hanks.

“I still carry a bag of books around all summer, as I’m not enamored with the tactile experience of reading books on Kindles or iPads,” Tom says. “Magazines, scripts and newspapers, sure, but my policy on books is: Buy, Read, Keep.”

Aside from Cast Away, I knew I always liked that Tom Hanks. :) Here’s hoping one day he’ll carry around one of my novels one summer (or at least do the honors so Rita can enjoy it beachside)…

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