Magazine Love: Print vs. Online

I was in Toronto last weekend for my nephew’s wedding, and while we were prancing around that lovely and lively city, I ducked into a newsstand and spent the better part of a precious hour devouring the Canadian and European magazines. I no longer do that in the States unless I’m in a big newsstand in NYC. Many of my favorite magazines (Domino, House and Garden, Cottage Living, Blueprint, O at Home and Gourmet) have been served a swift death.

Leaning against the shelf of magazines, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Has the American reading public moved on? If so, where are they?” Well, they are certainly on the move. Let’s look at the numbers from last year: It seems declining print ads are the culprit of the killing fields in the magazine world. According to the Publishers Information Bureau, magazines lost 58,340 ad pages in 2009. Hearst Publishing lost almost 3,400 ad pages. Conde Nast lost more than 8,000 ad pages, led by the still kicking Architectural Digest, W and Conde Nast Traveler. Hachette lost 1,661 ad pages.

What happens to those faithful readers? Right now you are reading a blog. I am a blogger. I used to be a magazine writer, but when the winds started to shift, I ventured into the virtual world. For the most part, it’s been an exciting and challenging learning experience on the technical end. Having immediate feedback in the form of a conversation like we have here seems to be the best blogger perk. That can’t happen on paper. When I spoke with the ex-editor of House and Garden, and author of Slow Love, a memoir about losing a job in the magazine world, Dominique Browning had this to say about the topic: “The wave of digital is exciting. There is an immediacy to putting your ideas down without waiting for a six month turnaround.”

Next: Online magazines and digital readers

Image: Amazon

The obvious popularity of the iPad, Kindle and the new ultra thin and flexible Skiff Reader that is designed specifically for magazine and newspaper content, may have the capability to trample the print media.

Whether we love print magazines or not, I think there is a need to explore the digital horizon. Since we each have our own likes and individual interests, here is a list of hundreds of online magazines. My new favorite online home design magazine is Lonny. This shelter magazine has caught my attention because it is so well designed (it’s founded by an ex-Domino staffer). Read more about Lonny in this New York Times article.

I love them…magazines. And, I’ve let them go. Not totally (I still have a few subscriptions), because I don’t own a digital reading device other than my laptop, and I am not interested in reading on my laptop in bed or on the beach. I like the green factor of using less paper waste. Will my unrequited love be rekindled by a Kindle, an iPad or the spiffy new Skiff? The jury is still out, but the writing may be on the touchpad…

I would love to hear your thoughts on this new virtual world of reading magazines online and please share your favorite online magazines in the comments below.

Image: Skiff Reader via Designboom

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LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

Robert O.
Robert O.4 years ago

I like having the feel of real paper publications in my hands.

Mars L.
Mars L.5 years ago


Cathy S.
Cathy S.5 years ago

Great move to go to blogging. The younger generation are on line it seem from birth! Just yesterday my husband called me from work and suggested I look up a specific sailing magazine on line. Our picture was in it from a sail boat race we were in last week.

Ken G.
Ken G.5 years ago

This article was on my mind today. Our local newspaper shut down and now is combined with another newspaper which is also struggling. I read how all the old businesses are shutting down plus the historic homes are going to waste. I've been attempting writing and go to a book store where I like the feeling of books being all around as I struggle at this. Maybe it's psychological but in my mind I've convinced myself I'm around other authors hoping maybe some of their talents might rub off on me. Today I looked at some books about writing even though I can't afford them. There's a lot of free material on the Internet concerning writing now days. I sold myself on the idea of finding a way to buy books again. The material I glanced at seemed better then what I seen on the Net. Plus for me just trying to communicate on the Net hasn't been real good in finding others I like to share with. With books I find more peace of mind as if the author is sharing with me and I don't run the risk of arguing about how I understand what was shared.

I don't know about magazines but I'm going to try and buy more books when I can just to support the authors, bookstores and everybody else who makes them available to us.

Again thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Angelica P.
Angelica P.5 years ago

Oh, I would lvoe to buy the Kindle 2, but I find it a bit expensive.

Mervi R.
Mervi R.5 years ago

I still do prefer the paper versions of both books and magazines...