Is Print Dead?

Posted: December 27, 2011 in Words and communications

Remember early in the personal computer era where people said that we would have a “paperless office?” Today, it seems Amazon with their Kindle and Barnes and Noble with their Nook along with Apple’s iPad want to have us believe that old fashioned print is dead. At a party recently, as an icebreaker, we each were asked what (other than a bible or a picture of your significant other) would you want with you on a desert island. One individual immediately responded with “her Kindle”. I pointed out, “So what will you do when the batteries run out?” She had no answer.

On the other hand, the magazine industry has been running an ad campaign called “Magazines, The Power of Print” where the copy reads: “Will the internet kill magazines? Did instant coffee kill coffee?” Or in another ad, they cleverly use the names of magazine titles to get their point across: “In these Wired times of ours, you might think that People don’t read magazines…”

I believe that digitizing books, newspapers and magazines is wonderful. For those of us who do research, this provides an unbelievable data source. And yes, an iPpad or Kindle does weigh less than a book. But a 72dpi image of a tragedy has never given me the chills or made me drool over a beautiful piece of jewelry. There is something about the glossy high quality of full color print that makes it capture my attention. Holding a newspaper with an image of a crying child saved by a firefighter has greater impact to stir my soul.

Call me old fashioned, but I also love being able to take a pen and make notes in the margin of a book or magazine. There is something SO tactile about that process. Or tearing out a page from one of my art magazines to pin to my bulletin board and later add to my picture file.

All the newsstands we pass daily are a testament that print isn’t dead. Also, many people don’t have the huge chunk of change it takes to buy one of these electronic readers and feed them with content. Besides, if someone steals my bag, they get one magazine worth a few dollars, not a Kindle that cost hundreds!

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