Six Reasons Why A Paper Magazine Is Better Than An iPad Version

Posted by November 4, 2012 Comment

Lyndon Antcliff writes for Bleeding Cool 

1. You wont get mugged over a copy of Vogue, but you will if you read it on an iPad.

Being a book worm, although these days you would have to call it a content addict. I have perfected over a number of years the art of walking down the street and reading. Mostly it’s a book, but sometimes a magazine. I have trained my peripheral vision to scan for street furniture and rabid dogs whilst I digest the latest article in a glossy magazine. I have never heard of anyone reading a magazine in the street and having it snatched out of their hands to be sold in a pub to score a line of Columbian marching powder. Bhe idea you would walk down the road reading off your iPad without it being snatched out of your web 2.0 digits seems absolutely bonkers. Not only is there a quick but small resale value, easily a tenner down the Red Lion, but a clever sort of the criminal underworld could quickly rampage through your email account and gain access to numerous megabytes of personal and sensitive information.

The amount of information on my iPad far outstrips the worth of it’s resale value in the local boozer. A smart thief could easily get into places which if they knew what they were doing cause considerable damage and cost. I do realise you can set up the FindmyiPad app (which I have not yet done) and have a password protect (which I have removed to save time) to safeguard my iPad. But the drug fiend does not know that and will grab it and have it down the boozer before you can say, paradigm shift.

Note: It’s probably not worth testing this supposition by conducting an experiment to gather data on which part of town is safest to walk around with expensive electronic goods. But if you did, it would make a cool infographic.

2. If I get my content hit digitally, I want it to be current

I don’t mind that my analogue, ink on dead tree magazine has information on topics that are not up to date on the day of publication. I don’t mind that some articles have been created months ago. I like the magazine format for it’s longer view and more in depth quality than most of the blogs I read. but if I do consume my information digitally I want it to be up to date. At least a few days fresh from the mind of the creator. It’s not worth much to use a medium that is instant delivery and low creation costs to simply send a facsimile of the ink on dead tree version.

If I am going digital – which I love to do btw – I want the hit to be instant and highly caffeinated.

3. Places you can’t read an iPad magazine but where you can read an ink on dead tree magazine

  • Bath
  • Football match
  • Beach
  • Ten minutes during take off and landing
  • Drug fiend hangouts
  • Edge of the swimming pool
  • Whilst painting the ceiling
  • I would have said toilet, but a lot of my friends tell me no

4. A magazine helps me focus

Some people are of the opinion that if your can’t check your Facebook or Linkedin account every 5 minutes they will vapourise is a puff of analogue particles. Reading a paper magazine allows you to focus, it doesn’t give you the option to get your once every 30 mins-Gangnam style Youtube hit, and so you sink into your space to enjoy the text and images. It allows your brain the time and space to explore the culture and concepts presented to you by very clever people.

Unlike blogging, you have to be very clever to write for a magazine. Not that clever people don’t blog, it’s just that a magazine provides for a high quality, curated experience.

5. You can’t invest in an iPad App

I wouldn’t say I was a magazine or comic addict, although I have spent many hours embedded in the deep funk of atmosphere that fills the Notting Hill Comic and Book Emporium. But I am an enthusiast. I have my collection of vintage comics in dust covers, quietly increasing in value, 2000AD if you must know, I was around to buy the second prog of 2000AD but never saved it. It’s now worth more than an iPad. And that’s the point.

No one is going to want to buy that copy of Popular Mechanics September 2012 off your iPad in 30 years time and even if they did they can’t. It’s against the Apple terms of service, it seems you don’t even own the digital magazine, you license it. The tactile experience of the iPad is truly great, I do have one and I do fondle it lovingly. But, I also love the feel and look of a 30 year old magazine or comic and don’t even get me started about the smell.

The most expensive comic ever sold was a first edition of Action, which sold for $2.1 million. And there is a thriving second hand comic market that many people make a living from. I don’t see the resale market for iPad mags having the same effect.

6. A Paper magazine will never never run out of battery

Well duh, you may say. Until you are on a long trip and your iPad does run out of juice and you are sitting on the train with a very expensive dinner mat. But it highlights the portability and useability of the ink-on-dead-tree media. The functionality of the magazine format is truly incredible when you think about it, the colour, the definition, the multi-usability. I don’t think the magazine will ever be dead. Sure the industry is totally in disruption mode, but that may be a good thing for everyone.

I do use my iPad more than any other gadget, but I still buy paper magazines and I think I always will. I look at the magazine collection on my shelf and it gives me a warm feeling that I will be able to hand down my curated collection to my kids.

If I did that with my iPad mags, Apple would send in the lawyers.

Lyndon Antcliff also writes for his client





(Last Updated November 4, 2012 10:59 am )

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