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12/27/14

Read window: How exactly do you buy and read your books and magazines?

Conventional wisdom and thinking would suggest that books and magazines are media and entertainment fossils, the kind of products and paraphernalia that technology would chew up and swallow for good.
Turns out, traditional print media is spitting in the face of that mentality.
Of course, magazines and books can be bought, read and enjoyed on a variety of gadgets from oversized smart phones, even larger tablets and the newfound readers, and the marketing behind this tells us that convenience, clarity and comfort all outweigh actually going to a bookstore (yes, they still exist) or newsstand and buying the original.
Consumers are saying something different, however.
Studies and surveys alike still have the majority of book lovers and readers alike choosing buying a hard or soft cover book or flipping through Sports Illustrated or People Magazine with actual pages rather than a swipe of a screen.

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That isn't to suggest that magazines and books haven't felt more than their fair share of heartache and slumping sales as it relates to more advanced reading mediums. But, conversely, that also doesn't mean magazines and books are read to call it quits, either.
So what keeps books and magazines relevant? There's something still enjoyable and relaxing having that periodical in your hand, being able to flip the pages or even mark your place where you left off by ear marking the pages. Does cozying up in bed or on the couch holding a tablet really sound overly warm and inviting?
Not really.
And in some ways, technology works against itself versus books and magazines. You might argue that getting comfortable and reading a book might be a tad easier than fighting to maintain and internet connection or wondering why your phone froze or tablet isn't being cooperative.
Ironically, newspapers aren't quite in the same boat as their print counterparts and actually have been struggling for quite some time. Waiting for the next day's newspaper to come out versus finding information online instantly is a no brainer. Sure, newspapers also feature ads, feature stories and other writing that isn't time sensitive, but the bulk of that bulky paper is so called real time news that is already old news by the time it hits your doorstep.
Magazines hang their hat on well written stories that might have a news baseline but whether you read it today or in a few weeks won't matter as much. Books are even farther removed from magazines in that regard.
While technology might continue to evolve and chip away at books and magazines in time, they're still not quite ready to waive the white flag at the moment. And if and when that happens, you can rest assured that white flag won't be a digital one.

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