A book is a big, primitive USB stick. A USB stick of thoughts. Other people’s thoughts; writers’ thoughts. We plug it into our eyes’ USB ports and gain access to someone else’s most intimate files, their penthouses and their dungeons.
We gain access to their imagination gallery, their information warehouse, in absolute secrecy and confidentiality, and which is more, guilt-free. The writers stand before us humiliated or in all their glory. Always confessional. We are in contact with them even if they are thousands of miles away, even if they are dead. We enter their brain without giving notice; we teleport to their worlds, even if they are arbitrary and imaginative. And to do all this, all we need is the password to the USB stick: the ability to read.
When we’re young, our grandmothers are a sort of primitive “Hollywood”: our very first projector, our very first movie theatre. They usher to our comfortable pillow seats – even better, to their Executive Gold bosoms – and put us to sleep by sweetly deceiving our minds. All we need is the right password (love); and the right sort of age. Granddads can also do this job. As can mums and dads and certain strangers – as long as they know the password –despite their being from different, rival production companies. When we grow older, cinema turns normal. Grandmas turn opportunistic, and television feels like one of those unscrupulous aunts everyone seems to have.
At some point, technology managed to pair the book-stick with Grandma Inc. Oh yes! You can now enter a person’s mind through the new, Bluetooth Grandma. You don’t even have to read anymore; you can just listen, as long as you download an audiobook app. You’ll find people there who’ve studied the secret storytelling techniques perfected by thousands of grandmothers, people willing to become “the grandma inside of you”. You are now able to visit other people’s thought galleries together with a guide, and a charming guide at that: a voice. This guide moves docs and files from the book to your head through the Wi-Fi of his voice. S/he also comes with an added vibration feature, their own soul vibration, which renders docs more comprehensible, almost an experience in themselves.
So you can now read books without having the password for reading. Even if you have no eyes, even if you have no hands, or simply if you’re too lazy to use them. All you need is your ears. And if you invest in a set of headsets, you’ll be able to carry the characters around when you go to the bank, on holiday, whilst running the marathon, when ironing, on the beach, at the social security office. Take it from me: The Name of the Rose is the perfect companion to red tape. Especially at its very end.
For those of you who missed on those grand old grandmother productions; for those of you who are too young to recall those radio voices with built-in bass; for those who reminisce grandmas and base. For those whose ears are their erogenous zone. For those who prefer learning through confession. And even for those who simply suffer from tendonitis: technology has seen that you are now covered. With Audiobooks.