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Old scrolls that we couldn’t read

In the real world, it’s an AI that can find words inside burned scrolls.

AI reads text from ancient Herculaneum scroll for the first time
Machine-learning technique reveals Greek words in CT scans of rolled-up papyrus.

In the story, it’s Galen who can read the old dusty books.

Old Dusty Books
Great Hall at The Library at Nareem

Roland walked over to where Maru, B’ani, Micha, Galen, and Sentar were standing.

Roland began slowly. “I have something that I am going to offer you. If you accept, there this much you might gain. But there is a consequence,” he paused.

They all looked at each other as if to ask what is he talking about.

“You said you wanted to know what the test was, Maru,” B’ani whispered, nodding to her.

“I’m going to offer each of you the chance to read any of the books in the Library,” Roland told them.

Their faces all lit up. Just being able to look at one of the books would be special.

Galen could not contain himself. He took his hands out of his pockets then put them back. “Which one to choose. Oh, so many. Which one?” he asked himself.

Roland went on. “But you must understand that these are special books, quite special. For you to read a book, it must be removed from its protected place on these shelves. Once a book is removed and read, something happens to it. In a few hours, the book will turn into dust and be lost forever. We have tried many different methods over the years. None would stop the process. The only thing keeping most of these books together is that we leave them alone. We don’t dust them. We don’t try to restore them. We leave them alone.”

They sombered.

“Does opening a book determine it’s fate? Is it always the same?” Galen asked. He’s so wanted to see the medical books.

“Yes,” replied Roland sadly. “There are stories we have passed down about a healer, one who could wield the power of wood, of all things living and growing, the source of the pages and ink in the books themselves. The legend says the books would open themselves, wanting to be read.” Roland smiled at Galen. “But that is only a legend.”





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