ongoing by Tim Bray · Luxury media

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Style Pass
2022-09-22 10:00:21

I was cruising through the supermarket when a shopping-cart traffic jam stalled me in front of the “newsstand”. That word is in quotes because most things on offer aren’t news and in fact aren’t magazines in the traditional sense, but single-issue glossies about Princess Diana or Bruce Springsteen or Michelle Obama or Christmas. Anyhow, an awesome cover photo of an owl on the The Atlantic caught my eye; that cover also touted an article about Jack White, whose music I enjoy, so I impulse-bought it. Now I’m thinking about the quality-publishing business model.

I got a couple hours’ reading pleasure for the handful of bucks I spent on dead trees and ink. Here are some of the advantages of a paper magazine:

The color, resolution, and presentation of images is wonderful. Yes, screens and graphics hardware get better and better, but wow, those pictures on that high-quality paper.

The pages aren’t visually busy. Yes, there are ads around the edges of some and quite a few odd-numbered pages are full-page ads, once again with fabulous composition and color. But those columns of text, they and their surrounding white space, thoughtfully designed, provide a serene reading experience.

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