The world in a hundred years and the discovery of a rarity

by Maike Grunwald

2118 – Thoughtfully Sofie leafed through the history book

It was one of those few specimens that still existed. The paper felt fragile, ready to fall apart at any moment. It was probably 2070 when it was decided to close the libraries because of the low demand.

In the meantime, these virtual 3-D tours were available for them to take. Of course it all worked from home. Large monitors were standard in households and usually took up an entire wall side.

Most entrepreneurs had implemented the digital concept

The start page formed a kind of game board, as it must have existed in the past. Over the individual playing fields one came into a shop. Supermarkets, drugstores, pharmacies – with one click a new level opened up. From there the virtual tour was started. As all monitors were equipped with a touch screen, the desired goods could be easily placed in the shopping cart.

It worked similarly for libraries

With a fingerprint on the virtual book spine, the book jumped off the shelf and opened. On request, one could have it read out to you. Of course it was also possible to talk to him. “Go to chapter four. What’s the third paragraph on page 46?” A highly complex speech recognition system almost made you forget that you were dealing with a computer.

The local shops had greatly reduced their range

Instead, the storage room was extended. Messenger services were standard. Hardly anyone bought locally.

It was a special moment. In a remote corner Sofie had discovered the antiquarian bookshop. She opened the door with a creak. Dusty it was here. In the sunlight she saw the small particles floating through the air. An elderly lady was sitting at her desk. It was rumoured that she was now 120 years old and had experienced all stages of the digital revolution.

Sophie’s heart was beating faster. She stroked reverently with her hand over the rough book covers as the lady raised her head and looked her straight in the eyes.


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