I was listening to Anaïs Nin’s essential words uninterruptedly on Audible, while making a cup of coffee and tidying my place, 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, a sofa, a bed or a 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. Truth is that I, deeming myself a true book lover, 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. My empty glass getting fuller the more I get to know her, no matter the path through which her words reach me.