So I keep hearing the same big statement over and over again these days – “Magazines are either dead or dying and it’s only going to get worse.” Now I’m not in on circulation rates, I don’t keep track of who’s up and who’s down or what demographic is still buying print publications. All I know is how I feel and how my peer group around me interacts with today’s magazines.
As far as I can tell, magazines have reached a new elevated space in the world of luxury. They are the ultimate indulgence and a way to truly escape.
In a fast paced world where twitter reports on news by the second and instagram shares visually stimulating content regularly, we are operating at speeds that are considered by many to be unhealthy. Social media is often used while multi-tasking. I reckon Twitter or Instagram gets about 1/10th of your attention on a daily basis, often mixed with nights out with friends, driving a car (naughty naughty), watching TV or working.
Magazines, on the other hand, require time and dedication. When one sits down with a magazine, a calm descends. You are taking time out to place your full attention on a printed page. You’ll find it difficult to tweet and read a magazine. Yet, I’m sure many will try.
For me, magazines are kept for long haul flights. There is no better sight, for me personally, than a pile of magazines ready to be packed in a carry-on bag. I’ve stored up the issues I’ve been longing to flip through and digest, and I earmark at least six hours of a flight to read through and catch up on all I’ve missed. Magazines like Vanity Fair, Vogue, Elle, Red, Tatler, Town & Country and, now, Porter, all sit patiently in my office and wait to be broken open.
I read approximately 200-350 blogs a day (thank God for RSS readers). I get my news fix, beauty suggestions and styling suggestions from every source and every continent on a daily basis. It’s an instant solution. Yet, to this day, I have yet to discover an online source that can provide me with a breathtaking 8 page editorial featuring Gisele Bundchen, shot by Mario Testino and using hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of couture clothing. I’ve yet to find an online source that can take me through dozens of ten page articles ranging from the world’s most perfect print skirt or why we should all be living life with a grateful attitude (thank you Oprah magazine).
I’m not suggesting that the world doesn’t hold a future where magazines all turn into online entities, and online only. However, I am suggesting that nothing quite replaces the feel of a heavy September issue in your hands or the arrival of the Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue that folds out to reveal the elite of Tinseltown all photographed side by side.
As a fashion/lifestyle blog, I am aware of the wars that have existed between print and online for years now. However, at the moment I feel we all co-exist in a lovely environment in which there is a mutual appreciation for our roles in providing, in equal measure, valuable information and entertainment. The death of magazines would be catastrophic. The role they have played, and continue to play, is quite nearly unparallelled.
So what’s the end game here? What’s my agenda? There’s no hidden agenda. Clear as day, I’m encouraging you to keep magazines alive. Just as you digest hundreds of online sources daily, keep your subscriptions alive and keep the magic of magazines in play. Sure, it’s an extra expenditure, but it’s one I’d hate to see disappear.
I’ll leave you with a quote that says it all, from the style queen herself, Miss Carrie Bradshaw: