The bReader

Introducing the new bReader reading device! It includes everything the popular eReader offers, and so much more. The bReader combines the nostalgia for printed books with the power of technology and the lust for unnecessary though impressive add-ons!

The first thing you’ll notice is that the bReader feels “real.” To those who miss the smell and feel of a real book, the bReader is made from brand new library books that no one was going to read, and each device has been manhandled by 130 random strangers with sticky fingers, to give it that authentic, library feel. The case was also dipped in the tears and palm sweat of librarians.

Older customers often have a difficult time navigating the user interface of some eReaders, but the bReader has dealt with this problem head-on by hiring twenty-five members of our greatest generation to design and tweak the interface. Thanks to the wonderful designers, such as Edith Monroe (87) and Mort Sanders (84) the bReader now features the Assisted Living App (named by Mort himself). From the main page, users can use the app to easily find books, movies, very nice music, recipes, photos of grandchildren, produce prices, and, finally, reasonable shoe stores. But unlike other mobile devices and gadgets, no button pushing or even touching is necessary. The different items just pop up randomly, and without rhyme or reason. Stare at it long enough, and the item you’re looking for is sure to appear eventually. 

The new bReader recommendation app, Sir Picks-a-Lot, is also top-of-the-line and on the bleeding edge of technology, using an algorithm so complex that eight men died during its programming. Once you finish a book and rate it, the app will offer finely tuned suggestions for other books, and more. For instance, depending on how you rated the latest Jonathan Franzen novel, the app will advise: “You may also like Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, cedar wood, the first twenty minutes of Ghostbusters, breaking up with your significant other, eggs for dinner, getting a haircut that suits your age, the ocean, women with hearty laughs, helmets, clock radios that have those flippy number tiles instead of purely digital readouts, and, finally, buying that turtle. Also, you have a little something on your chin. No — other side.”

Reading can be difficult, but the bReader alleviates all literary stress with the Buddy app. Having trouble with a particular sentence? Switch the Buddy into “Knowsy” mode and the voice of Sir Ian McKellen will help you sort it out, and read it to you slowly and with great patience. (Warning: Ian may sound condescending. It’s just his way.)  Or, switch to “Best Friend” mode and the friendly voice of Amy Adams will offer words of encouragement such as, “Wow. That sentence really is a toughy. I can’t even figure it out, and I’m a computer. You’re so brave for getting as far as you did. Why not watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey? Heard it’s a good one! I love Teresa! Squeeeee!”

Reading in a noisy restaurant or at a party? Simply rotate the bReader in a counterclockwise motion and the polite but firm voice of actor John Goodman will say, “Shhh,” so you won’t have to. If you don’t like John Goodman’s voice, you can switch to Gary Sinise, Helen Mirren, or “Cockney Chimney Sweep”. And for large crowds, switch to “Angry Tommy Lee Jones.”

Children can enjoy the bReader too, thanks to the Lil’ Book Worm app. The app will turn even the densest prose into easy-to-read children’s literature by adding in fun elements of magic and adventure. Here’s a sample from David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest: “The little girl grabbed the wizard’s treasure map and ran for the giant boat called The Phantom Whale! Her best friend, the talking kitty, ran after her. Oh, and addiction takes many forms, from addiction to drugs to addiction to athletics. Anyway, the wizard’s map began to glow….”

Along with the features mentioned above, the bReader includes thousands of fun apps. The Sownd Trakkkk app provides fitting background music for any book. (Creepy, detuned music box sounds for horror novels. Swelling orchestra numbers for romances. Slide whistle noises and tuba toots for self-help books. Flemish techno for non-fiction books about Flemish techno.)

And say so-long to lugging around book pedestals and lecterns. The Mag-Nut app applies a high powered magnetic field around the bReader, allowing it to float three inches above metal surfaces, thus saving your hands from purely mechanical toil. (Note: Activating this app will erase all data on computers within a 3-mile radius. May cause atrophied hands and spontaneous pregnancy.)

Yet more apps: The Smart Ass app will read books to you with sarcastic, ironic inflections. Example, “Call me Ishmael. [Duh!]” The Camo app hides the title of the embarrassing book you’re reading and every so often will chirp, “Now turning the page of Dante’s Inferno.” Add your own haughty smirk for best results. The Gordon App is based on our friend Gordon who reads a lot. Activate the app, and Gordon’s not-annoying-at-all voice will say, “Oooh. This is a good part. You’re gonna like this,” or “Get it? Did you get that? It’s funny. Let me read it to you again.” The Falconer’s Glove app will call any and all birds of prey in your area! (It is recommended that you cover the bReader in a real falconer’s glove before activating. And stand back.) 

Finally, two more unique and crucial apps. The Annotated Buscemi app will add Steve Buscemi’s annotations to just about every book. Curious to read his thoughts on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, or The Brother’s Karamozov? Of course you are. And for those who fall asleep while reading, turn on the Priva-C app. The bReader is then is guaranteed to not silently judge you while you sleep, nor will it contact robbers online and alert them of your weariness. Can your eReader make that same pledge?

With so many apps, including the HapApp – an app that changes sad endings (Example: Marley the Immortal Dog and Me), this is the only bReader you can’t live without. Why is it a bReader instead of an eReader? There’s an app that will explain it.

Dan Bergstein is no longer a lineman for the Steelers or the county.