Monday, November 24, 2008

eReading and Paper Addiction

In the interest of full disclosure let me say that the Reynard household still has a few periodicals that arrive in the mail or on the front porch,  Breaking the paper addiction is hard to do! 

But we are working at it.  We have adopted a slow and steady approach as opposed to the "Cold Turkey" method. cold_turkey

Oh, come on, I had to get a turkey reference in here somewhere.  After all, Thanksgiving only comes once a year.

The first paper publication to go was the New York Times -- both Henri and I are early risers and were constantly irritated by having to wait for the paper delivery.  And then of course, there is the question about why we were wasting all that paper everyday.

In the last year we have slowly converted our subscriptions (as they come up for renewal) from paper to the online editions.  First it was The New Yorker and Publishers Weekly.  And in the last three months we have changed from paper to online editions for The Wall Street Journal, Science Magazine and The Economist.

We still get the local paper, Foreign Affairs,Time Magazine and a few others but I can see the end in sight.

imageEvidently we are part of a trend.  Last Week PC Magazine announced that is going 100% digital.  They carefully explained the benefits of this decision. 

This is a terrific explanation of why online publications are so great.  In fact I couldn't say it any better, so I have copied them.  Here they are:

  • It arrives in your e-mail automatically. Just click the link to either download the latest edition, or to view it entirely online.
  • It is portable. Once you've downloaded the issue (which takes a matter of seconds), just power up your PC and view it anywhere, on an airplane, in your hotel room, wherever.
  • It's lively and interactive. Our digital edition will eventually offer rich media options within a magazine format. So, for example, next to the product review you're reading in First Looks, you can easily view a slideshow of that product. Or while you're reading a Solutions article on Microsoft Outlook tips, our PC Labs experts can walk you through the steps of some of those tips in a video.
  •  It's searchable. Here's something PC Magazine print cannot do. Enter a search term and PC Magazine Digital will fill all the related pages.
  • A live TOC: The table of contents is not only a place to find out what's in this month's issue. You can use it to navigate directly to the stories you want to read.
  • It's Green: You can actually feel good about the amount of paper, ink, and gas we'll all be saving by not producing and consuming a physical magazine.

Maybe the comment about being Green is a little over the top.  My perspective is a little more down to earth -- no magazines means less clutter around my house.  But that is a minor point.  All in all, it is a great list. 

But then there is the great disconnect. I stared at these "benefits" in total disbelief!

  • It looks like the PC Magazine you're familiar and comfortable with. I know why you've stuck with us all these years. You like the magazine and you enjoy the format. Our digital platform makes it possible to deliver that same magazine experience on your PC. So you can "turn" the pages and view our features and departments as you do now.
  • Yes, you can print it. You can print as many pages of the magazine as you want.


It looks like a magazine?  How is that a benefit?  Given all the listed advantages of digital they still want to recreate the paper experience. This makes NO sense to me! 

But the last one really knocked me back in my chair.  I can print it?!?  Hmmm, I suppose they figure better my money on paper and ink than theirs.  But still . . .

I guess I should go easier on us; obviously, breaking the paper addiction is harder than I thought!


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