RED Hearts: Find Great Books!

RED Hearts are guest posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today. Today’s RED Hearts post is from RED author Lisa Chau, 24 today (Happy Birthday, Lisa!), in NYC, who writes for the love of books:

I used to make my older sister drive me to the bookstore so I could buy the newest Harry Potter before it sold out. It took a lot of persuading and many promised back rubs. I would go home with a crazed grin on my face, plop on the couch, and read while telling myself, "Oh, I only have half the book left… I only have a few chapters… one more page!!!" until I finished, realizing that I had forgotten to eat any meals (true love can do this to you). Certainly there was no time in there for giving massages.

Of course, it now takes seconds to simply click and have reading material appear in front of your eyes. Everything is too easy these days (gosh, I sound so old!). As convenient as eBooks are, I want to hold on to buying physical books for as long as I can. Finding real books is way more magical than being able to access thousands with a tap. The experience of it all still matters to me.

Also, there are still tons of books written before my time that I'm dying to read, not just the new ones. And there's no way my wallet will ever be able to keep me in crispy new pages. Lucky for me, I like used books. The wear and tear of the cover, the funky smell of glue and paper, and surprises like finding a super cool Sauron bookmark in my copy of The Fellowship of the Ring fill my heart with that fuzzy feeling never conjured in cyberspace or megastores.

With Friends of the Library organizations across the country, you can buy used books for as little as 50 cents. Simply ask your local public library if they have a program (they probably do)! A few weeks ago I went to The Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library sale and found The Bluest Eye (classic), My Horizontal Life (the previous owner had underlined the word "fart" and nothing else), and a battered copy of A Clash of Kings (I know you're a Game of Thrones fan) for THREE DOLLARS!

Since Borders became an empty and lonely space on one of the busiest corners of downtown Ann Arbor, Dawn Treader has become my favorite bookstore to stroll into on a whim -- and it's independent. My BFFL Yelp can help you find an indie bookstore near you (that's the kind of easy clicking I approve of). If people don't continue to buy their books in stores, there won't be any bookstores in the near future, eBooks will take over, our kids won't know what books are, paper will become extinct, we'll forget how to write, and the world as we know it will never be the same. Too dramatic? I think not.

If you've got your arms full of unwanted books (do me a solid and NEVER do this), donate them! Used bookstores and Friends of the Library programs will gladly take them out of your hands and put them into the hands of those who do want them -- in a real-world act of Harry Potter-worthy magic.

RED Hearts guest poster Lisa Chau is an author of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today, which is out in paperback.