Why print matters

I use the above magazine cover as an example. Though I write and swatch for it, I would love it regardless. I look forward to receiving YMN in the mail, not to see or read my stories, but to read everyone else's. And to see what sort of yarn mischief Karin has cooked up for the cover.

A magazine, or a newspaper for that matter, is a moment in time. It is a static collection of words and images that has been carefully wrought by editors, writers, photographers, designers, art directors, illustrators and many others, who care about it deeply. As much as I enjoy technology, I love a good, old-fashioned, non-interactive magazine more. The September issue of Vogue. James Wolcott's commentaries in Vanity Fair. The food photography in Gourmet. For between three and six bucks, you get an entire, clearly defined world to explore and hours of reading and viewing pleasure.

It's not that digital media doesn't create rich environments. It's easy to see how the multi-media power of the Internet has seduced users, the people we used to call "readers." Who doesn't love the giant water cooler that is Facebook, with the opportunity to share random thoughts and news (as well as bits of audio and video) not just with colleagues from the present but friends from the past? And Twitter, what a free-for-all of ideas and opportunities to learn. Hulu.com is like an orgy of cotton candy, allowing for the kind of simple slack-jawed pleasure our parents warned us about when we sat wall-eyed watching Gilligan's Island for hours. Don't you wish you had those hours back now to, um, read?

The times they are a changin'. But with two major newspapers closing this month and others at risk, with pages shrinking in magazines and the publishing industry reeling, take some time to enjoy the human-scale of a great magazine or newspaper section this week. Take in the scent of ink on paper and the sheer sensual pleasure of curling up with something comfy and malleable as opposed to hard and plastic.

Comments (2) -

March 17. 2009 12:33

Kay

Was reading through YMN yesterday and read all of your articles (3 of 'em no less!)  This is a great little magazine for everyone, not just yarn shop owners. It's full of great tips and ideas.  Was wondering if you'd done all the miniature sweaters that illustrated the one article.  Looked like toothpick-knitting time to me.  

Kay |

March 17. 2009 13:24

Shannon

I'm with you. I dig it. And I hate to think of more mags going *under* under (as opposed to transitioning to online only, or whatever), but I can't imagine readers supporting the kind of hiked cover/subscription prices it'll take to maintain the same level of amazing content without using digital at least as an adjunct, you know?

Not to mention that some magazines are really well-suited for the digital platform...I have to say that though I'm a longtime print sub to the New Yorker, I'm considering dropping the print in favor of Kindle-only. For a weekly mag, the stacks of old ones add up quick! The only thing that's preventing me right now is that being a print sub gives me access to the online, full-color version of the mag each week. Kindle or the like goes full color and, well...

Smile

Shannon |

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