“A book?” Asks the tall, young girl in alarm as she steps onto the patio. “Who reads books these days anyway?” Her shrill voice pierces through the foggy atmosphere around our table, where a few of us are mulling over our coffee and pancake breakfasts. It’s Sunday morning in a hostel in Panama City, it’s already scorching hot and I have no idea where she came from or what she is talking about.
“I do…” I say over my shoulder as I struggle to erase all images of alcohol from my mind’s eye.
“Just get a Kindle already! Saves you so much weight and space.” She retorts coolly.
“Nah… Nothing beats having a real book in your hands.” I say as I get up to leave. It’s just too hot to argue.
“That smell of dead trees though.” Says the fit Australian girl in her early 30s’ sitting at the other end of the table. She winks at me. To her credit, she has a book under her coffee cup on the table.
As I retreat to a hammock to read my book and think about that wink, I begin to wonder if the age of paper books is nearing it’s end, at least amongst backpackers, as more and more of us opt for electronic readers’ superior convenience and accessibility.
And that’s how the seed for The Your Say Media Club project was planted in my head; a space where we can pay tribute to our favourite books, almost as a parting gift.
On later reflections, I decided to be less gloomy. Books would -hopefully- never die. This space could be where we could all pitch in and talk about our favourite not only books, but also movies, documentaries etc.