Sorry Monica, Today I Prefer Rachel Green

Reading a post on NYT about Jennifer Aniston reminds me an old article I wrote for Technorati in May 2011.
In my 30s I had a crush for Monica Geller. The fictional character played by Courtney Cox in the television show Friends. Until the end of the last tenth season, because of her, I didn’t miss an episode of the show. There was a time when I had to watch the Switzerland television to have a chance to watch the last episodes of the tenth season; the Italian public television controlled by Berlusconi didn’t broadcast the show, maybe because could have been a good competitor of the television owned by Berlusconi.

Continue reading “Sorry Monica, Today I Prefer Rachel Green”

Italians, eBook or paperback?

We don’t like reading; the 2013 statistics said that just 43% of Italians “read at least one book, for reasons not related to work or school.”

Why should Italians read more books? On the Internet people can find many interesting reasons to read more books. I link and like this interesting and funny post from The Huffington Post: “7 Unconventional Reasons Why You Absolutely Should Be Reading Books”. The first reason could be enough to pick up a book: “Reading can chill you out”. And, believe me, none one more than Italians need to be relaxed.

Probably, Italians could try an eBook reader to simplify their approach to the books; I bought a Kindle eBook reader some months ago and it’s a great tool. My Kindle is always with me, from the morning, when I’m having my breakfast until when I’m falling asleep in my bed. I read several books at the same time, but I’m focusing on Victor Hugo’s Les Miserable right now.

According to some (Italian) friends, reading using an eBook reader isn’t the best experience that a reader can live. “I like to touch the paper” one friend of mine told me. Another one said to me: “An eBook is convenient, but I like to handle a big paper book. A book is an object: I buy it and I like to put it on the shelf, even if I already have it on eBook.”

The Guardian reports “A new study which found that readers using a Kindle were ‘significantly’ worse than paperback readers” they asked 50 readers, not a big sample thought, to read a short story. Half of them read in a paperback, half on a Kindle. Anne Mangen of Norway’s Stavanger University stated that “The Kindle readers performed significantly worse on the plot reconstruction measure, i.e., when they were asked to place 14 events in the correct order.”

The Fatbrain, a buy and sell website for used and brand new books, asked to their buyer or seller “What are the top reasons for choosing a real life, lo-fi, analogue, hardcopy book over the digital option?” Fatbrain summarized the results with the title: Keeping It Real; 65% answered the “feeling”, that means: “Sheer physicality, the weight, notes and inscriptions, dog-eared memories, creasing, the old ticked tucked in page 56. There’s no app for that”.

As my friend said: “I like to touch the paper”.

Again my friend speaks about the paperback book experience: “When I study in a book, I want it in paper: going backwards and forwards with the bookmarks, putting inside a sheet with a note, writing things on the side, underling a text. this kind of stuff doesn’t have a correspondence in digital.” On the other hand, I commute almost everyday, and I can do all those things on my Kindle while I’m on the train or in the subway: I can write a note, I can underline a text, I can put a bookmark in a page. And, at the same time, I can look for it days later. And in my Kindle I can read a lot more. Using the free Instapaper tool, I can save the articles I find on the Internet, like this one “Will feminist writers save Playboy?”, to read later. It’s very simple and I can improve my English using the vocabulary on the Kindle to learn new words. How could I do that on the train with a paperback?

Dear Italians, choose what you prefer between a paperback book and an eBook reader, but read more!