Is Print Really A Dying Industry?

By Jiun Liao

I think by now we’ve all heard the news of Metroland Media filing for bankruptcy and stopping their print newspapers all around us. They were like that giant tree in the once lush forest that finally fell, taking with it the whispers and stories of local towns.

It seems like every time we blink, there’s one less magazine on the shelf, one less newspaper in the stand. Why? Is print really the dying industry everyone says it is?

When I read a book on my tablet, or listen to an audiobook, it feels like something is missing. I get distracted. I’m either doing something else like exercising while listening, or notifications pop up, or I read as quickly as possible so I can move on and do something else.

Technology has advanced our ability to take in more information. Everything is faster for the sake of convenience. To give us what we’ve always wanted,  the ability to do everything we wanted or needed to do. Keep up with friends, work, shop, stay healthy, relax, etc.

The problem seems to be the more convenient things get, the more it seems to amalgamate together. We now need to learn how to multitask, do multiple things at once, in order to keep up with it all.

Speed seems to be the name of the game.

I don’t know about you, but when I pick up a book and sit down to read it, I’m transported somewhere else. Every turn of the page is intentional, dripping in anticipation and thrill of finding out what comes next.

I slow down, and my world slows down with me. It’s more intentional.

Many kids growing up are being taught that the faster you do things the better it is, well better for whom? I’ve been on that train. I’ve worked as fast as possible and there’s always more to do. No matter how fast you work, the amount of things never end.

Reading something physical provides a unique experience now. Reading a book, a magazine, turning the pages, feeling the paper, smelling the ink, the sound of pages rustling against each other, being immersed into a story without pop up ads or tracking codes.

Print provides something incredibly important, undivided attention. Leading to depth and engagement. Deeper comprehension and retention of information.

Print does one thing and one thing only. It’s elegant simplicity. It provides no more than what it promises, and is no less than what it is.

I believe print to be like vinyl records, it may not be the most popular, but the experience it provides can’t be replaced.

Because of this, we have a little surprise in store. We are showcasing a collection of books by local authors, just keep reading this month’s Villager and you’ll find it. Support the local print industry this holiday if you can.

Happy holidays.