I had a student say this to me the other day, and I wanted to hit him on the head with a big fat volume of the Encyclopedia Brittanica. His class came in to the library to do research for their Pop Culture class, something to do with tying fashion trends and events in history together.

(Did you know when times are tough, people wear longer skirts? I’m not sure I believe that, but that’s what the teacher said. Guess we’ll all be tripping over our hemlines and falling on our faces pretty soon with the way the economy is going.)

Anyway, our library has an outstanding collection of fashions-through-the-decades books, as well as lots of history resources. Nearly every kid turned up their nose at my suggestion to go looking in the 624s and asked for a computer instead.

Now I’m a big fan of computer research. I’m an armchair traveler and Googler extraordinaire. But if I could get my hands on the right book and flip pages, that’s what I’d do first.

I know that to reach young people today, you’ve got to go digital, technological, fast-fast-fast. I blame it on Sesame Street with its bite-size scenes and endless hours of blowing up things in video games. I wonder if romance writers in the future will have to do this:

“Rblla, I luv u. U driv me wld w/pashun. B min 2nite.

So, am I completely archaic— an old lady who’d rather soak in the freestanding bathtub with a book than read it on a screen? Please predict the future of fiction through your crystal ball. Are you a fan of YA literature? I recommend Jennifer Donnelly’s A Northern Light.

You’ll recognize Max from Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, one of my kids’ (and my) favorite books. It is only ten sentences long, but every word counts. Soon to be a major motion picture!