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Bruce Watson: This summer’s irresistible page scrollers, 'Your email,' 'Wikipedia'



Last modified: Thursday, July 03, 2014
LEVERETT — This summer, like all summers, will see its share of beach books, “page turners” and “great summer reads.” Yet if the rest of the year is any judge, summer reading is changing.

Gone are the lazy afternoons with your nose in a book, gone, too, those wistful hours on the Cape holed up with just a novel and whatever it is they drink on the Cape. Something with cranberry juice, most likely.

Face it. People are reading more than ever. On every street corner, in every store, at every spare moment, millions have their noses buried in their phones. It is for these readers, hooked on the digital word, that I offer my list of great “summer reads.”

The most popular and addictive read of the summer is sure to be that recent classic, “Your Email.” While a little weak on plot, this page scroller is strong on character. How can you go wrong with a read that includes Nigerian princes reaching out for help, friends stranded without credit cards in London and long lost high school rivals hoping to “friend” you on Facebook?

“Your E-mail” will make you cringe, make you chuckle, make you feel as if, for at least 20 seconds, you are special. And like any good summer read, you’ll keep going back to “Your E-mail” again and again and again and again and …

Next in this summer’s lineup is that mega-bestseller, “IOS 7.0 Upgrade.”

Sure, you’ve resisted, suspecting another disappointing sequel. “IOS 6.0 Upgrade” had its moments but never really panned out, so why bite again?

Here’s why! “IOS 7.0 Upgrade” is the perfect summer read because it takes longer than ever to download! You’ll be checking your phone for hours, booting and re-booting, filling those empty moments at the beach, the BBQ, weddings, funerals, anywhere you just can’t get enough of reading.

Once you’ve finished upgrading, you’ll be ready for this summer’s white-knuckle thriller, “Weather Channel.” Though the plot is predictable, Weather Channel will grip you from the start. Why? Because it answers today’s pressing questions. What’s the chance of rain this afternoon? What does 89 degrees really “feel like?” What will the “low” be? The “high”?

And with a flick of your finger, you can read the weather in Cleveland, Detroit, Paris, Timbuktu. Try doing that with some ordinary print-based summer read.

Hey, don’t forget “Your E-mail.” Have you checked it lately?

Another must on any summer reading list is Wikipedia. Some critics have crowed that Wikipedia is unfocused, unreliable and reads as if it were written by seventh graders. But those critics are soooo 2010. Today’s Wikipedia is not only a page scroller – it provides answers you never knew you needed to know. Say you’re on the beach. Everyone around you is reading a book, an actual book. Dinosaurs! You see a name on a can – Budweiser. “Hmmm,” you think. “Wonder if Wikipedia has an article on Budweiser?”

You whip out your trusty phone and … it does!!!!

Finally, don’t be one of the few who pass the summer without reading this year’s comic masterpiece, “App Store.” Just when you think nothing can be funnier than Wikipedia or “Your E-mail,” along comes “App Store.”

Pick a subject. Fingernails? Underwear? The Human Navel! “App Store” has an app that will let you play, study, chart, or just gaze at these and 10 billion other subjects. Talk about a summer read you can’t put down! “App Store,” and its sequel, “App Store for IOS 7.0,” will have summer readers glued to their screens at the beach, on street corners, at weddings, funerals, anywhere you just can’t get enough reading.

And don’t forget to check your email again.

Bruce Watson’s column appears twice a month. He can be reached at opinion@gazettenet.com.