Monday, May 17, 2010

The Nervous Breakdown/Print v. Online Periodicals

I am now a contributing writer at The Nervous Breakdown, which is an online pub you should be reading. My first TNB post is up today, and it's called "Ten ways to get Thrown out of Wilco." I hope you dig it, and I hope you comment on it.

TNB is one of those sites I follow regularly. It sort of represents my 21st century way of reading periodicals. The latest edition is always there for me online. I sign on when I want, read what I want, and I don't have to worry about the paper version finding its way into the recycle bin when I'm done.

Literary magazines aside, I can't remember the last time I paid for the print version of a magazine or newspaper. I might flip through one at a bookstore, and every time I get my oil changed they force a USA Today on me. But pay for a copy of a magazine from the rack? Doesn't happen. Buy a newspaper from the corner kiosk? Nope. Subscribe to a commercial magazine, even an excellent one? Probably not.

This runs completely counter to my reading habits with book-length stuff, where I won't accept any sort of electronic intrusion. I only want to look at a screen for so many hours of the day. The computer can't have everything.

Also, when reading something book-length, I don't want distraction, which is so easy on a computer.

See what I mean?

But what about you? What do you choose to read: print versions of magazines and newspapers? Electronic versions? Some combination thereof?

Yours in laying down the law,


Try Ghost Notes, the award-winning novel, in print form for just $5.

Try Ghost Notes the Audio Book as an unabridged digital download.

Or try Ghost Notes the Ebook.


Joansz said...

Interestingly, I'm fairly ambivalent about the whole matter. If the magazine or book is useful as a reference, then I'd prefer to have it digitally since my favorite search method is keyword. I still would want to have some of these books and magazines on paper, especially for images that need to be of high quality, since normal screen resolution is 72 dpi to 96 dpi. A decent digitally printed image is no lower than 300 dpi, with high quality being 2400+ dpi.

But for news and the more ephemeral articles, I agree, keep it paperless.

S. Paul Bryan said...

It depends on the format:

I hate newspapers, because they have such an unwieldy format.
On the other hand, digital media is a pain because I either have to be sitting at my desk, or sitting with my laptop on my lap. Neither position is conducive to reading.

Magazine format is best. I can pick it up on a whim (without having to boot up). I can skim through the pages looking for headlines or pictures that catch my eye. I can read a page in the morning before work and then pick it up in the evening right were I left off with minimal effort.

If I go on the computer to read, I too easily get distracted and start doing other things.

I don't own an e-reader, but I suspect, if I had one, I would be more likely to subscribe to a newspaper if I could get it delivered electronically. I probably wouldn't subscribe to an electronic magazine though, as I would find the format a bit too limiting.