Did you know that book covers used to be mostly made of wood and held together with a brass strap? By striking the cover hard, the clamps sprang open and the book could be read. This is why we still speak of “flipping a book open” today.
Now that summer is coming to an end and autumn is slowly but surely approaching, it’s the best time to read. Reading is not only key to literature but key to get to know and understand the world. Those who seek, find and understand information, those who want to actively participate in society, culture and working life have a clear advantage when equipped with good reading skills. But of course, books or magazines are not the only sources anymore when it comes to education or entertainment.
In this article, employees from the whole Porsche & Porsche Digital cosmos introduce their favorite reads of all time, their soulmate movie characters and quotes everyone should’ve read. And their answers are as different as they themselves and their areas of competence.
The employees from the whole Porsche & Porsche Digital cosmos
1. What’s your all-time favorite-read?
Cihan Sügür, IT Demand Manager at Porsche AG: Five years ago, I came across this wonderful blog post of my old friend Omid Scheybani. I’ve read it countless times ever since.
Talia Rafaeli, Partnering and Venturing Israel at Porsche Digital: My all-time favorite read is “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries. It gives great insights into the psyche of entrepreneurs and starting your own company.
Sven Lutz, Tech Lead Prototyping and Ideation at Porsche Digital: My must-read is “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” by Yuval Noah Harari. It offers very inspiring thoughts of how we should try to shape our future in terms of culture and technology.
Paul Skiba, Asset Manager at Porsche AG: Forever “The Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov.
Sophie Schwandt, Data Scientist at Porsche Digital Lab Berlin: I love Donna Tartt’s “The secret history”. A group of clever, eccentric outsiders of an elitist New England College discover a way of thinking and living that is far from the boring existence of their contemporaries. In doing so, they cross moral boundaries and gradually slide into evil. Very thrilling!
Katerina Kourti, Development Engineer at Porsche AG: My favorite book is the most wonderfully written story about universal patterns that unite mathematics, art and philosophy — “The glass bead game” written by Hermann Hesse.
Jagrut Kosti, Blockchain Developer at Porsche Digital Lab Berlin: I can’t decide between Yuval Noah Harari’s “A brief history of humankind” and the foundation series. Both are absolutely recommendable!
Randi Bauer, IT Project Manager Smart Mobility at Porsche AG: This one’s easy. My all time favorite read is “North and South” by Elizabeth Gaskell. It’s a historical novel covering the British industrialization — culture clashes, class conflicts and shifting believe systems included.
2. How do you read — digital or on paper?
Cihan: I prefer books and newspapers on paper. Everything else I read digitally.
Sven: Since I prefer to always have all my favorite books with me, I have them in digital form on my e-reader. But on vacation, I prefer to do a little digital detox and take a good old book with me.
Paul: I’m probably an exception: apart from research, I prefer everything on paper.
Katerina: After forgetting my brand new e-reader in the taxi on the first day I used it, I’m back to classic paper reading. I sometimes think it was destiny because I actually prefer paper.
Jagrut: On paper! And I prefer to read books bought in second-hand shops.
Randi: Almost everything I read is on paper, so I can enjoy more off-screen time.
3. Long flight, congested roads: Which magazine do you buy as a pastime?
Talia: It totally depends on my mood — either Vogue or The Economist.
Sven: Hmm… I actually prefer audio podcasts. But in the unlikely event that my battery ran out and I didn’t have a power bank or socket, I’d probably buy a business punk or a car magazine.
Paul: I believe that pastime is the best time to get lost in creativity. Therefore, I would buy the Hi-Fructose Magazin, a contemporary art magazine.
Sophie: Definitely Photonews, a magazine about the art photography scene in Europe. The articles are of high quality and you can discover great artists and new exhibitions.
Jagrut: I would buy Wired or The Economist — or browse the Ethereum research forum and the Project Syndicate.
4. What’s your favorite quote?
Cihan: “Fa-inna maʿa l-ʿus’ri yus’ran.” It’s a Quran quote meaning “indeed, with hardship comes ease”.
Talia: My favorite quote is one my mother always said when I was a child and we were driving: “It’s better to be five minutes late in this world, than five minutes early to the next one.” That still reminds me to always act carefully.
Paul: “Perfection is lots of little things done well” from Fernand Point. It reminds me to not lose focus on the little things.
Sophie: “There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception” from Aldous Huxley.
Katerina: “I have never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that.” — the great Pippi Longstocking.
Jagrut: Although I don’t like the book from where it is, my favorite quote is probably “You are not the centre of the universe” from Stephenie Meyer. From a science perspective, it’s “Science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom” from Isaac Asimov.
Randi: “We are not each one person but number at least as many as those whom we know”, from Zia Haider Rahman’s novel “In the light of what we know”.
5. What fictional book or movie character do you identify with?
Cihan: The hero of my youth, Son-Goku from Dragon Ball. Whenever I felt I’m not good enough to accomplish a challenge, Son-Goku would prove that with passion and dedication you may overcome every hurdle — even become a Super Saiyajin!
Talia: Elastigirl from “The Incredibles”. She’s a mom of three that is also a superhero, having to extend herself beyond limitations to protect her children and balance everything in her daily life. As a mom of three myself, I sometimes feel like I need superhero powers in order to manage it all: career, motherhood, self-fulfilment. Feels like I am extending my limitations often as well!
Sven: Definitely Batman — he is the silent problem solver in the background and just does the right thing without needing any permission.
Paul: Oh, that’s Winnie-the-Pooh. Because he loves naps and sweets and is always there for his friends.
Sophie: Lizzy Bennet from “Pride & Prejudice”. She’s witty and speaks her mind. She disregards social conventions and puts more emphasis on character than money despite her difficult stand as a woman during that time.
Randi: Emely Starr, written by Canadian writer and early feminist Lucy Maud Montgomery. The girl manages to turn her passion for writing into her profession despite the most difficult circumstances.
Katerina: I totally identify with Quino’s “Mafalda”, always worried about world peace and the big life questions — except that I love soup.
6. What’s the last show or series you binged?
Cihan: Inside Borussia Dortmund, which is a documentary-like series about my hometown team BVB. They take you backstage to their season of 2018/2019 and show insights, which you won’t see anywhere else. Worth watching it!
Talia: “House of Cards” — I was born and raised in the US and like politics quite a bit, so an inside look at the daily occurrences of the life in the White House and the bitter politics associated are intriguing. (Plus I have always really liked Robin Wright!)
Sven: The HBO miniseries “Chernobyl” — Sometimes the most thrilling stories are not fictional but told by reality.
Paul: “After Life” by Ricky Gervais, which I binged with my dog while my wife was travelling.
Katerina: “Russian Doll” — It is weirdly hilarious, very well written, greatly acted and extremely addictive.
Randi: I love the “Pastewka” series. It is just hilarious!
Everyone should be well equipped with inspirational reads and new series’ on their bucket lists. So, here’s to a long, cozy autumn with lots of time to read and watch!