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Friday News: Paper towels v. Air Dryers; a charity for books;...

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Ros
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 04:14:26

    When I was about 12 we did a science experiment at school on hands that had been towel dried vs air dried. I think everyone, including the teacher, was surprised that there were more bacteria on the air dried hands.

  2. Liz H.
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 05:21:59

    I don’t know if med schools do the same thing, but as a Vet student, one of the first practicals you do drives home the difficulty of achieving true surgical asepsis with handwashing and drying. You wash your hands, following surgical prep procedures, and then place your hand on a culture plate. The plates are grown for 7 days, and then you get to see how much, and what bacteria were still present on your hands. Most people miss between their fingers, the back of their hands, and/or their thumbs- and that’s WITH medical training.

  3. Julia Broadbooks
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 06:39:20

    I’ll confess to rarely using an air dryer long enough to have hands that are actually dry. It’s too boring. The exception is a new kind of dryer at the Downtown Disney movie theaters.

    It works so much faster that I tough it out for the fifteen seconds it takes. But I’m still not certain my hands are as dry as with paper.

  4. CG
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 07:33:58

    I loath air dryers; bacteria can grow in the vents then spew out onto your hands when you dry. And I need that paper towel to open the bathroom door without actually having to touch the handle.

  5. Patricia
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 07:39:48

    I hate the noise made by air dryers, especially in large public restrooms with multiple dryers going at once. They can be painfully loud, particularly the newer high-speed ones. I will sometimes skip drying my hands at all if an electric dryer is the only choice.

  6. Carrie G
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 08:00:18 is another great place that supports literacy. Each time you buy a book they donate a book to someone in need. In the month of December, they donate two for every book you buy. You can support the cause by buying books, donating money or donating your used books. Donating books is easy. Many places have drop boxes or the send you a mailing label to ship books to them. They’ve even started a new ebook section! they have great prices and it’s a good place to find used books (they also have new books).

  7. Las
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 08:53:00

    I hate air dryers. HAAAAATTTEE. I like getting my hands completely dry and it takes forever with air dryers. Don’t even get me started on public restrooms that have completely replaced paper towels with air dryers.

  8. Darlynne
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 11:16:01

    I’d read a while ago that hand-sanitizers weren’t effective unless followed up with use of a towel. It is the action of wiping our hands that cleans them best. Go figure. But I do like the Dyson Blades because they’re just cool.

  9. RowanS
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 11:20:31

    Businesses don’t use the air dryers for sanitary purposes. They use them because they don’t want to pay for the paper towels or for waste disposal. Air dryers are more cost effective, if not healthier.

  10. leslie
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 12:12:55

    @RowanS: That is the absolute truth!

    Recently a doctor (whom I don’t know) at Cedars-Sinai infected some surgical patients with staph, because he had infected hands and his gloves were punctured during some procedures. What a mess. It’s a worry for anyone in the medical field.

    My local library, restaurants, cafes and some schools all have crappy air dryers and the restroom door handles are always wet. ICK, talk about spreading colds and flu. I always carry napkins, flat paper towels, hankerchiefs and wipees in my bag, using them on door knobs and handles when exiting. Need some paper towels? The cargo area of my car is stocked!
    My husband and sons carry hankerchiefs. I say “wash your hands first thing” to my boys when they walk in the door from anywhere.
    It’s kinda an issue with me.

  11. Ellen
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 12:23:52

    Kind of happy about Google’s opt in on the porn. I searched “Prince Albert” for my then 8-y-o daugher and just turned the computer toward her.

    She clicks the first link and — BAM — a genital piercing.

    I had never heard of a Prince Albert at that time.

    Lesson learned and even more paranoia gained.

  12. willaful
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 14:21:29

    CG: agree on all points. I’m a bit of a germaphobe, and with good reason.

    I thought about buying that Groupon for about a second… I just can’t cope with the thought of the crap books Disney puts out. Will donate books in another way.

  13. Nonny
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 16:23:48

    I suppose you haven’t heard of Fifty Shades of Chicken.

  14. P. Kirby
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 17:38:45

    Actually, if I notice in advance that a restroom doesn’t have paper towels, but instead the stoopid air dryer, I sometimes grab a big wad of toilet paper for use when I wash my hands. Especially if it’s on one of those closed-up rolls that isn’t subject to much icky particulate matter.

    Hate the air dryers.

  15. Ann Somerville
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 18:02:22

    Since I damaged my right knee permanently slipping on a wet bathroom floor at work caused by the installation of air dryers and the removal of paper towels – the instructions actually told people to shake their wet hands before using the dryer, so where do you think all that water *goes*? – I have loathed air dryers with the passion of a thousand fiery suns.

    However, the new Dyson style hand dryers seem to be the best solutions of all – the wet hands are completely enclosed, so water doesn’t drip everywhere, and they leave the hands completely dry. The only downsides are the horrendous noise and the fact that kids are terrified by them.

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