I was listening to Essential Anaïs Nin uninterruptedly while making a cup of coffee and tidying up when it hit me. The freedom now available to me, or should I say finally noticed by me? The mobility, the lack of attachment to a room, sofa, bed, or chair. The no longer needed quiet corner, for Anaïs’ voice would muffle the external sounds.
From now on, I could not only walk all around the house but also leave it and take her with me. She would whisper her many adventures in my ears on my way to work, while I wait for the tube or travel somewhere nearby or far away. She would help me sleep by telling me a story or singing me a lullaby when my arms are too tired to hold the heavy books I keep buying and for which I rarely have time.
It would take adapting and open-mindedness. It would mean leaving behind my conservative view about reading – one that always made me so proud, but that now, I finally understood, was based on ignorance and prejudice about new technologies for readers. The truth is that by deeming myself a true book lover, I held on for too long to the desire to turn and smell paper pages, and was blind to the most recent ways of getting to know new words and revisiting old ones.
Reading books in digital format was the first step I took away from bulks of paper bound together, and The Diary of Anaïs Nin was the first thing I read on my Kindle – at the time, still quite cynical about how natural the reading experience would feel until I finally surrendered.
So, in a way, it is no surprise – and serendipity comes to mind – that one year after getting acquainted with my electronic reading device, my first audiobook was also by Anaïs. She seems to take me further every time we meet, to guide me into the unknown — her thirst for new ways of living, of loving, of being — and my empty cup gets fuller the more I get to know her.