“There is no immortality that is not built on friendship and work done with care. All the secrets in the world worth knowing are hiding in plain sight. It takes forty-one seconds to climb a ladder three stories tall. It’s not easy to imagine the year 3012, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. We have new capabilities now–strange powers we’re still getting used to. The mountains are a message from Aldrag the Wyrm-Father. Your life must be an open city, with all sorts of ways to wander in. After that the book will fade, the way all books fade in your mind. But I hope you will remember this: A man walking fast down a dark lonely street. Quick steps and hard breathing, all wonder and need. A bell above a door and the tinkle it makes. A clerk and a ladder and warm golden light, and then: the right book exactly, at exactly the right time.”
“He has the strangest expression on his face- the emotional equivalent of 404 PAGE NOT FOUND.”
“But I kept at it with the help-wanted ads. My standards were sliding swiftly. At first I had insisted I would only work at a company with a mission I believed in. Then I thought maybe it would be fine as long as I was learning something new. After that I decided it just couldn’t be evil. Now I was carefully delineating my personal definition of evil.”
“Some of them are working very hard indeed. “What are they doing?” “My boy!” he said, eyebrows raised. As if nothing could be more obvious. “They are reading!”
“(about Kindles) I have one and I use it most nights. I always imagine the books staring and whispering, Traitor!”
“I’ve never listened to an audiobook before, and I have to say it’s a totally different experience. When you read a book, the story definitely takes place in your head. When you listen, it seems to happen in a little cloud all around it, like a fuzzy knit cap pulled down over your eyes”
Robin Sloan, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore (novel)
I just finished this book this afternoon, and I loved it! In the end, the message is simple enough…but you’d have to read the book to find out.
I never expected this book to have a detective-story touch (what was I thinking when I read the synopsis? Probably: “Just buy it!”), but as most mystery novels I have experienced, they are very fun to read, indeed.
I love the fact that the author played with the idea, and possibly the arguments, around how we aquire knowledge nowadays: the traditional way through reading and analyzing texts from physical books, or the ultra-modern way of Googling everything. Nonetheless, there’s no judgment, only a very nice and touching moral lesson.
Give it a go. 🙂