And while the perverse discussion about whether eBooks sells better than paper books is making people go crazy, a bunch of “little rascals” is organizing a festival (or a party, as they prefer to define it) devoted to paper. But, how? Wasn’t it dead? It seemed to be only good for wiping our butts and blowing our noses; nevertheless, paper is here to stay.
Paper. What is paper? Paper is mainly a medium.
But it is also an industrial product obtained from fibrous substances of various kinds, reduced first in moist dough and therefore in sheets that can be more or less thin: writing paper, drawing paper, music paper, brown paper, wallpaper, toilet paper…
Now, someone like the guys from the Mele Museum, that will of course attend this party, could laugh and give their opinion affirming that is not always the result of an industrial process, but often the result of a handicraft process. Even if this thing of the industrial process were true, those guys have been making handmade paper since 1997 using ancient recipes from the old “Scartafascio di Mele” manuscript, that reveals many secrets about the paper made over four centuries in the paper mills from the Val Leira, and that is one of the few examples of manuscripts of this kind.
Ignoring the natural resistance to change, it is clear that the process of reading has changed with the digital technology.
But, is there any difference in what people understand, depending on if they read from paper books or using digital media?
So far, only the Norwegian University of Stavanger have been researching about the effects of the technological interface on reading comprehension in a Norwegian school context. The result of the research is clear, comprehension is better when we read paper books.
“Reading Linear Texts on Paper versus Computer Screen:
Effects on Reading Comprehension”
Mangen, Anne; Walgermo, Bente R.; Bronnick, Kolbjorn.
International Journal of Educational Research, v58 p61-68 2013
Objective: To explore effects of the technological interface on reading comprehension in a Norwegian school context. Participants: 72 tenth graders from two different primary schools in Norway. Method: The students were randomized into two groups, where the first group read two texts (1400-2000 words) in print, and the other group read the same texts as PDF on a computer screen. In addition pre-tests in reading comprehension, word reading and vocabulary were administered. A multiple regression analysis was carried out to investigate to what extent reading modality would influence the students’ scores on the reading comprehension measure. Conclusion: main findings show that students who read texts in print scored significantly better on the reading comprehension test than students who read the texts digitally. Implications of these findings for policymaking and test development are discussed.
This conclusion is easier to understand if we think that, in the linear text we found in a paper book, the reader makes sense of the text according to the arrangement of the words. There is a sequential time to the text, in contrast with a non-linear text (not to be confused with hypertext), such as those found in a screen, where text is often combined with visual elements.
In my modest experience as an internet researcher, when I look for something in the net like, let’s say, “How to prepare the real pesto sauce”, I find myself reading the most curious websites about topics that goes from how to make the perfect crochet sphere to how to generate a word cloud from the last Trump’s speech. A lot of interesting ideas often distract me from my true goal. This leads to procrastination.
And meanwhile in Roccabianca, near Parma, the most disruptive festival dedicated to paper will take place very soon.
Probably, someone has invented a new special rolling paper.
CARTA MANENT FESTIVAL #2017
June 17–18 2017 — Roccabianca (PR), Italy
Carta Manent Festival is not really a festival, is a party!
It brings together people with the common passion for paper in all its forms. Following the path of the exhibitors you will find yourself in a route full of emotions. The artists will guide us in their memories with their sensibility.
With the signs, the dreams will come true.
We can live the experience of a full immersion in the culture of paper and printing, with workshops, gatherings and demonstrations. What are you waiting for? Roccabianca will be colourful.
17:00 Welcoming words of the Carta Manent Festival
17.30 Workshops for kids Laboratori Didattici – POP UP Astratti
17:30 How to make paper? Museo Carta Mele
18:30 Workshop “DoodlArt” FRA design
19:00 The show starts Riparty 2017
10:00 How to make a book? Giulia Poli
11:30 The world of fanzines and self-publishing by Centro Nazionale Studi Fanzine
16:00 Create the Carta Manent Fanzine nº0 by Centro Nazionale Studi Fanzine
16:00 Workshop of engraving Piccola Stamperia – Workshop di Linoleografia al Carta Manent Festival
16:00 Workshop “dreaming of cranks”. Olè presents…
17:30 A magical museum Museo Carta Mele
18:30 Game on synthesis Emmedi.design
19:00 Music live EMILY Collettivo Musicale
21:00 Music live la Rappresentante di Lista
Emmedi.design // Attaccapanni Press // Western Glory Delivery Service // Sophie Lamoretti // FRA design // Meninji Prod // Tahin Production // Checkpoint Charly // Alberto Macchi // Landskap // @alessia bevilacqua // ZETA – Federico Zeta – Violante Broccolo – Giacomo Clerici // Giulia Pasa Frascari // Elena Bompani – Valentino Marigo // Martina Lorusso // Fabio Prestini – Giulia Poli // CARGO // Miguel Kokhan // Luigi Leuce Factory // Jazz Manciola // @massoneri creativa // Giulia Verti // Museo Carta Mele // Piccola Stamperia – Cecilia Gnocchi // P54 // Masonry / Massoneria Creativa