Paper is so ten years ago

I think it’s safe to say that not a lot of people appreciate books anymore. With most of the world being more fixated on their computer screens, it’s amazing how publishing houses still rake in money. The solution? Make books and magazines digital of course! It’s really amazing how the first published books in human history were only made available to those who have the sufficient funds, not to mention social status, to avail of these then-considered luxury items. Now, it seems, books, magazines, newspapers, and all other print media can be had almost anywhere. Lately, however, the rise of mass media translated into more people favoring these new developments. Some people no longer turn to print for their daily dose of news; instead they opt for Yahoo! News or other online news-providing bodies. Others don’t bother reading entire novels and instead rely on film or television adaptations of certain works. Let’s face it, not a lot of people are into reading things on paper because of the subconscious association of it to tediousness. We may not realize it, but we already give printed materials a negative connotation and that is “work.” Given these examples, one might think print is a dying medium. Well, not exactly.

As we’ve learned from Sir Isaac Newton, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The shift towards digital media definitely made publishing houses rethink their strategies. Rather than spend more on promoting their printed products, they simply offered an alternative approach in ensuring that their target audiences will read their publications. They resolved this by introducing the idea of the e-book or electronic book, which of course we know as the digital counterparts of houses’ inked and bound predecessors. Of course, they didn’t stop at just books. E-zines or electronic magazines soon flourished, so did online versions of newspapers and academic journals. Some of the very evident benefits to having a paperless method of information sharing is the reduced waste. Paper is certainly a commodity that diminishes as fast as any rainforest from which its raw materials are sourced from. Second, it ensues the readership of its target stakeholders. That being said, it also makes it even more accessible to a broader audience since almost everyone has an internet connection nowadays. I’ve mentioned earlier that we tend to avoid literature on paper, digital versions of these seem less intimidating by virtue of the thickness of the collective binding of pages. In short, PDFs are a lot less frightening. This paved the way for social publishing sites like Scribd and Issuu.

Vanity Teen 9

Vanity Teen 9

Vanity Teen 9

Vanity Teen 9

Vanity Teen 9

Vanity Teen 9

Just to add, e-zines are also growing more and more popular. At first, books and newspapers were gaining steady readership online but now so do magazines. Apart from the mainstream magazines dominating the market, the internet has given smaller, independent magazine houses a medium in which they can promote their publication and achieve momentum in terms of getting subscribers and advocates. Among my favorites are Vanity Teen and 160g. As you may have guessed, these are fashion magazines. E-magazines Publications like these have very specific niche markets and I guess that given their considerably small (but growing) fan-bases, it won’t be long that they reach mainstream success because of the internet. The best part about it is that they don’t have to spend as much for paper as big-name publishers do.

P.S. Do check out Vanity Teen Issue 9, featuring a 20-page editorial featuring Francisco Lachowski, photographed by Marley Kate.

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About Zid

My wit is legendary. View all posts by Zid

10 responses to “Paper is so ten years ago

  • Noemi

    I’m not quite comfortable with the first line so I’d disagree and link here an entry posted by a good friend: http://mostlynerdy.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/one-for-print/

    I’m one with her in saying that print is not dead. In fact, I believe the opposite of your title and thesis statement. IMHO, more people do APPRECIATE the actual books now than ever because the experience of having the real book on your hands, lifting page per page, is just irreplaceable. For one, books won’t strain your eyes the way computers/netbooks/tablets would if you read on too long. 🙂

    But there’s still more truth in this entry, of course. 😉 I also liked how you (again) found a way to link it with Ze Fashion. Fashion magazines are not very cheap, for sure, so e-zines are perfect alternatives. 😛 Had your premise been different, you would have totally nailed it.

    • Zid

      The title was supposed to be ironic though. I should’ve put quotation marks in it. 🙂

      Print, I think, is not dead entirely. It’s just that there are not a lot of book-lovers that I know of (in my batch, at least). Maybe it’s because we were traumatized by Burn with his Kuhn assignment back in sophomore year. IDK for sure. But thanks for your suggestion though! 😀

    • morethanscribbles

      Yes! I appreciate actual books now than ever! Reading over the screen stresses my eyes, especially if it’s really loooong. 😦 I love reading straight from books because aside from not having fried eyes, I won’t have to open any gadget (hello, electricity). Haha.

      Although I completely agree that it is a great thing that most documents are over the internet now. I just hope I wouldn’t have to pay to access journals for our 199 class anymore. :))

  • minaohh95

    Lately I came to realize that in my life time ( mind you I’m 15) i’ll be telling my grandchildren that books use to be on paper. It’s kinda scary becauwe the whole experence of reading is on the structure of the book itself. There is a lot of thought put into making the book itself; what type of paper, type of font, how big the pages should be, ect. But that’s what happens when people move into the future. Though I believe that books will never completely die, they will be something of the “past”.
    *sigh* Oh well, I still like technology (cell phone, computer) ahah.

  • Carl

    When you said “not a lot of people”, “most”, “almost”,”more”, “some”,and “others” in the first paragraph, what was actually your basis? I think it would have been better if you cited some statistics regarding book and online resources usage to support those words.

    It’s a well-written blog entry (in terms of grammaticality) and I appreciate that. But it really could have been better if your your arguments and claims throughout the article were all well-supported, not only by your observations but by numbers and other data as well. That way, you could have increased the credibility and persuasiveness of your article.

    Just my opinion. 🙂

    • Zid

      I have a confession to make: this is my most rushed blog entry ever. I made it so as to fulfill my weekly quota (which is one entry per week). Given that I’m also writing my undergraduate thesis at the moment, I didn’t give much focus on this one. I just winged it. LOL. But yes, I do admit on my entry being ridden with a lot of general statements. I really appreciate your constructive criticism though. 🙂

  • attackofthelines

    I have to say that no, books are not dead. God knows I’ll really commit suicide if publishing houses stop producing them. I dunno, it’s just that I have this nostalgic feeling when I hold a book. It’s as if it’s alive in my hands. I don’t have that feeling when I just click on an e-book. Besides, I can carry around a book. I can bring my laptop anywhere too but it’s just too heavy and too impractical to open anywhere.

    I do agree on getting the news from the internet though. A lot of people now prefer reading news from inquirer.net or yahoo.com. Cuts back on the newspaper consumption I guess, but the fact that a lot of companies still advertise on broadsheets, tabloids, and magazines shows how print is here to stay for a little while longer. 😀

    • Zid

      My head hurts every time I force myself to read a PDF on my computer screen. lord knows how much of a chore that could be especially when the reading is required.

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