Well, ‘easy’ in the way that giving up smoking is easy.
It’s easy when the doctor puts it as a choice between stopping now or not seeing your future grandchildren.
But rather bothersome to implement.
For various reasons, I’ve not had as much time lately as I would have liked, for studying, I mean.
Since the summer, when the livin’ was easy, things have been a mad rush.
My To-Do list has mutated into a monster, to be feared or, at best, ignored.
Having passed my Swedish A2 exam (now more than two months ago…), I’ve received a parcel with the books for the next levels – B1/B2.
Ideally I’d like to aim to take the B1 exam, perhaps in the spring?
Which means getting serious…
But where to find the time?
All that said, like most people, I was managing to find time to do other things, especially reading in English.
The daily newspaper that I’ve been a faithful reader of since I was in my twenties, the weekly news magazine that I’ve subscribed to for years…
However busy things got, I always managed to find time for them.
But… Trump, Brexit, Trump, Brexit…
“Could I be making better use of my time?” I started to find myself thinking.
It was a gradual realisation – not so dramatic as the ‘sort yourself out’ conversation with my cardiologist, but potentially just as impactful.
So, after a long period of ‘meaning to but not yet getting around to it’, I finally took the plunge.
I unsubscribed from my weekly news magazine, and deleted the daily paper app from my smartphone.
Now, when I want to read, I’ll have to read in Swedish (hard to speak but easy to read), or Turkish (easy to speak but REALLY hard to read!)
Or if I’m feeling lazy, then French. Which is basically the same as Italian, so hardly counts as study.
An inspirational resolution!
For the first few days, rather than reaching for my smartphone and starting to R.E.A.D., I found myself lying in bed looking at the ceiling, or closing my eyes and pulling the cover up to my neck…
The world has suddenly become a more difficult place to be.
Then, when I finally did get started reading the news from Sweden on a smartphone app, I figured that it would be a nice break to watch the videos, too.
Only to find that the WiFi doesn’t work in the bedroom.
So, a nice idea, but like a lot of things, changing ingrained habits is harder than you’d think.
Were YOU to try this for yourself, by which I mean cutting out the Trump and Brexit from your life and reading only in Italian, then you would have one advantage that I don’t have.
Simplified texts, and plenty of them!
For example, yesterday’s Easy Italian News – heard it yet?
If not, ask yourself, why not?
To me, it seems a shame to miss even one edition, given that it’s FREE, and designed especially for learners.
There’ll be another published tomorrow (Thursday) morning.
Sign up to receive each bulletin by email – that’s also free!
Besides that, what about a nice ebook?
You could store it on your smartphone and read/listen to it whenever you have a spare second during the day, or after meals, or in bed.
If you’re not ‘techy’ then just print a copy and carry the pages around with you, ready to read in your lunch hour, or on the bus.
Talking of ebooks – it’s been a while since we’ve done a ‘Book of the Week’ half-price offer, hasn’t it?
‘Book of the Week’ – half-price ebook easy reader offer!
‘I soliti ignoti‘ is Mario Monicelli’s 1958 classic comedy, retold for learners of Italian by our own award-winning scriptwriter cum Italian teacher, Giovanni Galavotti.
The title, losely translated as ‘the usual suspects’, is the term that the Italian authorities use to refer to the unknown parties held to be responsible for a crime.
A bit like ‘John Doe’, I suppose.
‘The Usual Suspects’ is also the name of a film, of course.
A gripping, violent one, which is as far from being a remake of the similarly-titled and much earlier, black and white, Italian movie as it possibly could be!
No indeedy, ‘I soliti ignoti‘ is the story of a gang of small-time crooks who plan a night-time raid on the safe of a pawn-broker’s shop – with hilarious results!
You really should check out the film!
Being pretty old, it’s bound to be available on the Internet somewhere.
I watched it a few years back with my sceptical wife and son (where’s the color, dad?) and we enjoyed it enough to watch it through to the end, which is rare in our house, as homework or bedtime usually get in the way.
That said, it’s an awful lot easier to follow the movie if you’ve read our simplified version first, and so can more easily work out who is supposed to be who.
Take a look at the free sample chapter (.pdf), at least, to get an idea of the level and complexity.
At the top of Chapter 1 there’s a link to the online audio, also free.
Until Sunday night, ‘I soliti ignoti‘ is half-price, so just £3.99, rather than the usual £7.99!
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online at soundcloud.com)
- 8 chapters to read and listen to
- comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at pre-intermediate level or above
- download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
- your e-book will be emailed to you within 24 hours of your purchase
Seen the free sample?
Buy the full version from here.
Or select something you prefer from our catalog page.
You’ll find, for example, other ‘Book of the Film’ easy readers.
Along with other, more original stories, written by club authors.
And even Italian-English parallel texts, for those who like that sort of thing…
Bene, gotta go!
A venerdì, buona lettura.