He was picking through the books that sat on the shelf like little soldiers waiting to be picked for duty. When Joe removed one and inspected it the others would stand quietly in wait unless the shelf was particularly weak of books and the pitiful army would fall in on itself until Joe slid their keystone back in place. None of the books seemed to interest him right away. Then again, he wasn't used to scoping books to read.
Books did exist where he was from but he hadn't had much contact with them. All of what education he knew was given through databases of definitions and loose 'if this then that' situations programmed into the mainframe of his brain. Also stored were songs, common phrases, and the potential to learn from past conversational mistakes that would give him away as being an AI instead of a genuine human being. All of this rested in a small cube in the center of his forehead and all could be destroyed by simply opening his face, pulling that cube out, and wiping it clean or physically beating it to a demolished state.
He ran a finger along the spines of all the colorful and intriguing titles and stopped at a particularly interesting design. He bent down to the checkerboard pattern that reminded him of casino cames. As he pulled the book out the checkerboard pattern cut off into a deep maroon. He continued to pull the book out and a colorful still life on the front of the book caught his eye. After the solid, hefty book was complete from its niche between its fellow troupe Joe studied the book more carefully.
"Cookbook," Joe said, aloud. The word was fancifully scribed on the cover overlapping the still photograph of pastries and meals served on a grand dinner table with wines and champagnes. At the end of the letter 'k' in 'Cookbook' the letter's last leg turned into a wooden spoon.
Despite Joe's inability to taste or ingest food of any kind, the descriptions of the meals and how to prepare them fascinated him. It amazed him that such simple ingredients could mix together in such a way to look and taste how they hadn't before. And the exquisite almost sexual details of the deserts and wines were something akin to his way of thinking. It was almost as if they'd taken his former line of work and rescripted and recast it with various edible items.
He continued to flip through the large book with growing interest.
((*Incomplete and backdated.))