Nature Future Conditional

The story behind the story: A street but half made up

In this week’s Futures, Anna Zumbro returns to visit A street but half made up. Anna previously introduced us to an unusual cultural experience in The Museum of Nothing. You can find out more about Anna’s work at her website and by following her on Twitter. Here, she reveals what inspired her latest tale — as ever, it pays to read the story first.

Writing A street but half made up

One of my favourite things to spot in any city is a Little Free Library — typically a small, house-shaped box with a clear front to display the books inside. Anyone can borrow or leave a book and then go on with their day, now brightened by an impromptu library visit.

I like e-books for their convenience, but I feel that there’s something uniquely satisfying about print. Turning pages, moving bookmarks, and reading other people’s margin notes on used copies are all important parts of the reading experience for me. Many readers agree: in both the United States and Great Britain, e-book sales have fallen while print sales have climbed. As a teacher, I’ve heard my tech-savvy students weigh the pros and cons of print and digital text, and have learnt that they too feel that screens are not always superior to paper.

In this story, I wanted to explore a futuristic setting that I’d enjoy visiting, one in which new and old technologies coexist and every day involves travelling through a library.


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