October 29th, 2009 | Published in Google Books
Following our first announcement this week, here is the second set of winning entries for the 10 Days in Google Books contest. As a reminder, to enter the contest users had to submit a short essay describing what the experience of reading will be like in 100 years.
"It's Earth Memorial Day. Under the Martian sunset's romantic glow, Janet removes her shirt. "What's on your back?" her boyfriend Carl asks. "Part of a book. Did you know books once were printed on murdered biomatter? Isn't that awful? I temptatooed myself in memory of the trees..." "Um," says Carl."
Rachel Sealfon, Cambridge, MA
"Although I've been dead for 35 years, in 2109 my great-great-grandson and I read stories together through our telepresence system. He wrinkles his nose when I bring up a favorite story from my boyhood, leading me to chastise him, "don't judge an ebook by its icon."
Len Wanger, Chicago, IL
"We almost returned to paper, when the oil ran short and dear. The technologists saved us again, folks said they wouldn't, but their eink, memristors and led lamps take less power than their solar cells and thermal engines make. We don't read by candlelight. But we almost did."
Kim Reece, Duarte, CA
"I placed my book on the nightstand next to me and turned off the light. Then in a soft voice, my book picked up where it had left off earlier in the evening. Bookmark it please, I asked the book, and it hummed in quiet, literate, satisfaction."
Michael Gillespie, Charleston, SC
"I pause, run my thumb across the pages and smell the paper. Tonight a classic. Finding it on the shelf, I gently tap my book to its spine. Pages dance and the cover transforms, firmware upgraded so embossing works nicely. Rewrite complete. Config loaded, coffee brewed. Call me old fashioned."
Gavin Cheng, Silppery Rock, PA
"7/27/2109 - Dear Diary, "Someone" swiped my reading glasses today and I had to use the PUBLIC glasses at the libary. Disgusting! The ancient things didn't even accept retinal commands so I had to use the 'page' button. My brother is SO dead!"
Alan Hald, Adams, NE
"Even my great-great-grandchildren will still need paper books to read, because somehow 'Goodnight Moon' is not the same unless the child can take it to bed and slowly love the book to death. Every child who has this experience will never stop loving physical books as mementos of childhood."
David Smedberg, Washington DC
"She was late for class, stuffing books into her bag: biology, chemistry, the complete works of Shakespeare, the English dictionary, the every language everywhere dictionary, the Galactic Encyclopedia. As she strode out the door, ping! A newly discovered chemical element had been added to her chemistry book."
Sonja Harpstead, New York, NY
"Reading (PA city, Monopoly railroad, ESL) will (intention, testament, onomastics) no (negative, nitrous oxide, kana) longer (Dan Fogelberg, unrequited love, anatomy) be (degree, copula, beryllium) linear (y = mx + b, Cretan script, asteroid detection)!"
Sandy Lawrence, Delanson, NY
"Power: ON Resume: The Great Gatsby page 17 Activate reader theme: Classical 20th Century--Gilded Age. Music: ON Contextualizer: ON [..her eyes moved gradually out into the velvet dusk]. User-initiated Query: velvet dusk. Accessing Wikipedia: Dusk "Dusk is the beginning of darkness in the evening." End query. Resume reading."
Gabriel Loupe, Boston, MA