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Chat with a Werner Herzog bot on Facebook

Ever wanted to make small talk with the eccentric film director? Now you can with a Facebook bot that answers questions with Herzog-esque responses about the importance of reading books.

WernerBot will make you feel guilty for reading Facebook instead of a real book.
Screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

"Why aren't you reading?"

This is the first thing WernerBot -- a whimsical Facebook message bot that claims to be the "best and only way to chat with Werner Herzog over the Internet" -- will say to you when first engage it with a simple greeting, "Hello Werner."

WernerBot is not affiliated with the famed director, but it responds in a way that one can't help hearing Herzog's excited voice.

Write a response about any book you're reading (or about anything in general) and WernerBot will answer with, "Stop looking at this Face Book and read a real book."

Of course, you could be reading Shakespeare or the latest James Patterson mystery novel and it won't matter to WernerBot because it already has a couple of book suggestions at the ready.

"You should read "The Catalogue of Dwarfs" from the Icelandic Poetic Edda, an extraordinary collection of Old Norse poems compiled in the fourteenth century and probably handed down, in the oral tradition, a thousand years earlier," WernerBot answers when I try to impress it by talking at great length about how much I loved rereading Neil Gaiman's book "American Gods."

Thanks Werner, but as big of a Thor fan that I am, Old Norse poems aren't really my thing.

"Sitting at home on your own, in front of a screen, is a very different experience from being in the communal spaces of the world, those centers of collective dreaming," WernerBot responded.

Only a Werner Herzog bot could make me feel like a dope for not shutting off Facebook more often and turning my brain on to the real world. "When I read Hölderlin, I have the sensation of the Hubble telescope probing the depths of the universe. Are you reading a book yet?" WernerBot replies.

Yes, yes, yes. I get the message, Werner. Thanks for the book-shaming.