What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree, with flexible parts on which are imprinted lot's of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you are inside the mind of another person. Maybe somebody dead for a thousand years. Across the millennia an author is speaking clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions. Binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time.