I'll be the first to admit that searching for articles in online databases and finding just the right material from X or Y magazine - in a matter of seconds - is something to behold. However, I discovered again last night just how much I love to read the Real Thing™. To sit back and hold a nice, glossy magazine and flip through the pages is an experience I don't think can be duplicated on the computer. In fact, I'll be quite honest, I rarely read very long text articles on my computer screen at all. If it's a very long article or post - I'll print it. I don't think it's all about ease on the eyes either, there's just something about reading a long piece from a newspaper, magazine or my printer that appeals to me and my tactile desires.
My experience last night: I am not a subscriber to TIME magazine but came across an interesting article while browsing around titled, "Happiness Isn't Normal," which looks at the relatively new psychology of ACT, or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. I wanted to read this in a bad way and even seriously considered going to the store to buy the magazine rather than read it off the computer screen. (My printer ran its last drop of ink earlier in the day.) This hit me square between the eyes and me me realize another truth about paper in the digital world. Some things really can't be duplicated, and the experience of curling up in bed and reading this (very long) article on my laptop had zero appeal. Yet, the idea of doing the same with a real edition of the nice, cool, slick TIME Magazine was very appealing. I opted against the trip to the store and read it online. But it wasn't the same.
Today, while looking at Borders and picking up the issue of TIME with this ACT article, I discovered there were five or so pictures that didn't accompany the web version. I wished I had waited. I savor the times with a good magazine. Surely there are others like me. I'm not a luddite, as I explained above, I love the lightning fast search for articles and I discovered the article in the first place on the Internet. But that is where the relationship between me and magazines on the web end. Great for quick research, browsing and back issues - but no comparison to the real deal.
I admit to being a magazineaholic. At this moment I subscribe to: U.S. News & World Report, Maximum PC, PC World, The Week (great magazine), The New Yorker, Fast Company, Best Life, Inc., Entrepreneur, Poets & Writers, SC Magazine (computer security), The Atlantic Monthly and Computer Shopper. Those are just the subscriptions. I plead guilty to being an impulsive buyer of magazines at the newsstand - I'll pick up Writers Digest, Pages, Bookmarks, Men's Health and others. The point here being that holding a magazine, flipping the pages and leisurely reading from the Real Thing™ is, I think, a sort of simple life pleasure. Reading these same magazines online, clicking the arrows from page to page just won't do it - for me.
Am I the only one?