Does paying for almost everything you read put you at a distinct advantage? On one hand, yes, no doubt. On the other, I find certain propositions a bit troubling.
In September 2011 Versha Sharma, speaking of her Harry Potter Love Affair, explained how much she loves Harry Potter.
Within one week from the launch of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (that is, 12 years ago) she had bought and finished all the first four books of the series. Immediately after, she joined all sorts of online fansites, spending “countless nights” to read fan fiction. That, until September 2011 when, she writes:
67 years ago Primo Levi was deported to Auschwitz. 64 years ago he published a book about that experience titled If this is a man. 24 years ago Primo Levi died. Today Primo Levi reminded me of the absurdity of certain laws and wastes of public money, and how the technology could help culture. Today I met a high school student who, having to read If this is a man to write a report, borrowed in the closest Public Library the copy that you see in these photos.
Last month Corriere della Sera, one of the major Italian newspapers, asked several novelists and other writers if and how the age of ebooks is changing fiction and the general approach to creation of literature. It was an interesting read, because it contained both pearls of wisdom and things that are either irrelevant or simply wrong, but all said by the same “gurus”.
In August 2010 Umberto Eco, a great Italian intellectual and novelist wrote something very true about traditional paper books: don’t you dare to hope to get rid of all paper books just because e-books are now available. Unfortunately, Eco gave a really dumb proof for his assertion: