Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Digital Magazines? No thanks!

I have a video game magazine subscription. It came with my Gamestop membership (we buy games used, play them for a while, the kids get sick of them, we trade them). Now they are asking me if I want to convert from a traditional magazine to digital.

Sure, it’s a win-win for them. They’ll save big time on printing and postage. For me, it’s a big NO.

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I subscribe to these traditional (tree killing) magazines: Game Informer, Sports Illustrated (which has the best writing you can find in a magazine), Bloomberg Businessweek (which I consider the best magazine in print today), and Entertainment Weekly. I buy Real Simple at Walmart every month (I clip $1 off coupons for it).

I also subscribe to one digital-only magazine - a radio magazine called Monitoring Times. I used to buy Monitoring Times in the bookstore each month but it is just a pain to find and the digital-only subscription was a huge savings. Unfortunately, I haven’t read my digital copies in three months. I keep downloading them but I find it annoying to read them on the laptop. They don’t look good on the e-ink Nook Classic. On the Nook Color, the print is too small and if you enlarge the page, you end up scrolling back and forth to read it all.

My verdict – eReaders are awesome for books and terrible for magazines. Maybe an iPad would provide a much better experience but it sure isn’t worth that sort of investment for a casual reader to go all digital.

I just prefer the convenience of a magazine. There is something about the glossy pictures and the portability that makes magazines the winner in the old school vs. digital competition for me. It’s also nice to have an escape from the whole “web experience” for a bit to go offline, grab your magazine, and concentrate on what you are reading without any digital distractions.

Here’s to old school magazines! May they stay around for many years to come!

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