Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Dear Inventors: Make These Bookish Things

Rachel Weber

Staff Writer

Rachel Weber is rarely seen without books, lipstick or her French Bulldog sidekick, Batman. She's never met a refined carbohydrate she didn't like, loves a pop ballad and is a sucker for TV shows about rich people. She's from England, lives in San Francisco and writes about video games. Yes, that is an actual job.   Twitter: @therachelweber

I know the technology industry is busy with drones to spy on sunbathers, self-driving cars, and watches you can sext on but I’m here with freshly trimmed bangs and a determined scowl to demand it turns it attention to my book based needs. 

The Show-off’s Ereader

As a regular traveller my Kindle has saved my spine, my bookcase, and my shipping costs but damn I miss flashing pretty covers at strangers. Book perving on people on public transport is a great way to pass the time but these days everyone is staring at a black rectangle, including me. That hot guy could be reading Toni Morrison or he could be planning his night out with The Game, basically it’s a flirting minefield. I even miss nosey commuters interrupting me to ask how the new Stephen King is before sharing that story about wetting themselves during an illicit viewing of The Tommyknockers.

I need the next generation of ereaders to come with a screen on the back for displaying titles and glorious Technicolor covers. That way I can see which book made the hot guy in the Hufflepuff scarf laugh, why that girl is dripping mascara tears onto her blouse, and to declare that yes, I am reading A Little Life like a proper literary person thanks very much.


The Hologram Audiobook

Audiobooks are great – if only because they’re the only way to get Tina Fey to talk to me while I’m taking a bath – but they’re essentially just a disembodied voice. Imagine if a hologram of Jane Austen could stroll alongside you reciting Pride and Prejudice while you watered the garden, or if HP Lovecraft could lurk in a dark corner of your kitchen to liven up your dishwasher duties. We’ve had hologram Tupac, now it’s time for hologram Tolstoy.

And the celebrity spin-off options are huge. I’d pay a hefty subscription to have all my favourite books narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch. Naked. 


The Reading Chair 2.0

Remember those 4D rides you find at theme parks and piers that cost $15 and mix 3D films with rollercoaster lurching and the odd squirt of (what you hope is) water? We can rebuild them inventors, and we can make them bookish.

I want to sit in a comfortable chair that will rock with the motion of the waves while I read Master and Commander, giving me the scent of sea spray and the caws of gulls at appropriate intervals. I want to feel the wuthering, smell the quail and rose petals and hear the jazz age, all while my spine is supported by the plumpest upholstery. 

Oh, and please add a cup holder suitable for both Red Bull cans and wine glasses.