Subliminal Reading

Forget the the-sky-is-falling-in panic over the rise of e-books and the demise of p-books (a shortened reference to physical books that all the cool kids are using right now). Not only do I want books to go digital, I want them embedded in my brain.

Remember those tapes that promised you could lose weight/learn a language/do both subliminally and potentially simultaneously? Clearly they didn’t work, or we’d all be Kate Moss whippet-thin and speaking languages so fluently and so seamlessly we’d have no need for Google Translator.

But imagine if that technology worked? Imagine if it could be applied to books and reading?

I blame jetlag for such crazy thoughts (well, jetlag and the decadent German bakeries which have also seen me stack on weight and crave urgent I-need-to-fit-back-into-my-pants diet solutions).

Being time poor and darn tired mean that I’m not ploughing through nearly as many books as my head and heart desire. The number of unread books on my bookcase is getting to the point of embarrassing—I’m buying books much, much faster than I’m able to tackle them, and then having to endure awkward conversations when friends visit and peruse my collection.

They say: ‘Oh, I’ve been thinking of reading this one. What’s it like?’

I say: ‘Um, I haven’t had a chance to read it yet.’

They say: ‘What about this one? I’ve heard good things about it.’

I have to say, after a pause: ‘Um, I haven’t had a chance to read that one yet either.’

I know. Awkward. And quite possibly damaging my reputation as a Big Reader.

Anyhoo, sleep is a time of rest and rejuvenation, and I think book reading is too. How fantastic would it be to be able to combine them? It might be the perfect solution for those people who don’t enjoy reading (crazy people that they are!) or those like me who worry that there are too many books and not enough lifetime in which to read them.

And can you imagine how well we’d score on those how-many-classics-have-you-read polls that are always floating around and making us feel bad for not having had time to tackle enough of reading’s greats?!