Saturday, August 13, 2011

Extinction of the Most Tragic Kind

I'm worried.
A little bit sad.
More worried than sad.

A nearby town built a brand new high school. The ibrary / media center is magnificent with massive windows providing the most wonderful natural light. What an uplifting, cheerful place for students to study. There are comfortable places to sit. And almost no books.

No books!!!!
The they still call her the librarian????....says it's because "our students do everything online now ~ research, reading ~ they have access to libraries all over the world via the internet."

Cool enough on the international thing. Am I crazy to wish they also had access to shelves and shelves of books with thin pages typeset and numbered behind colorful hard covers with the authors name printed on the spine? No books??????????? NO. BOOKS?????

Are we raising a generation of kids who won't understand or appreciate the feel of a book in their hands? Does it matter? Am I just old? Do I sound like my Grandpa who thought the world was going to hell in a handbasket because girls were wearing blue jeans???

Encouraging is two years of renovation finally coming to a conclusion and the shelves and shelves of books I find lined up at the Franklin Avenue Library where I used to retreat after school when I was a little kid. My mom worked and the house was empty when I came home after school. Rather than be alone I spent countless after-school hours at that library.

My best friend Joanna and I would pile our homework and raincoats and various paraphernalia of the 5-th grade variety on round library tables and retreat into the aisles to pull books from the shelves. We loved big volumes full of panels by our favorite cartoonists, books about pets and animals and adventure stories about brave young girls solving mysteries and saving the day. Occasionally we would hide "Talking to Your Teenager About Reproduction" inside the cover of a giant encycopedia and sit huddled up and wide-eyed at the illustrations and information we didn't quite understand but thought was pretty darn interesting reading.

Books are my dear friends. It's hard for me to get excited the same way about snuggling up with any of the electronic books. I think they are wayyyy cool for sure, but they're kind of like having to invite a third party to join in my afternoons. Selfish, I know ~ but my afternoon's with a favorite book are just about the two of us. Me and the book. Don't ask me to break off a lifetime affair of turning my favorite pages.

Can't do it. Don't want to do it. Won't do it. I think there is room for all of us. Enjoy the books on your little screen-thing. And leave me to enjoy turning the pages of mine.


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