Even though I’m a web person, I’ve never been crazy about reading books or magazines online. In fact, I don’t. When magazines come to my house, it’s not unlikely that I will sit down for about an hour and thumb through it. I know I can get these same magazine articles online for free, but I don’t. Honestly, I sit at my computer so many hours of the day already, that I need a break from the screen. There is also something about holding the magazine and flipping back and forth. I have a sense of knowing where I am and where I’m going that I don’t get online.
A colleague recently told me about a study LL Bean conducted inadvertently. After doing some research, LL Bean noticed that they had NO orders from the catalog so they decided to cut down on the amount of catalogs they were sending out. When they did this, internet sales dropped drastically. Upon further research, they realized that internet sales spiked when the catalogs were mailed. The customers where flipping through the catalogs and then going online to order. I can relate to that. There is no replacement for flipping through a catalog full of shiny, colorful pictures. I can view 15 outfits on one page of a catalog that would take at least 3 clicks of the mouse to view online. I can dog-ear the pages that really interest me and leave them in a convenient location for my husband (although, I’m pretty sure he hasn’t picked up the jewelry catalog I left by his chair).
So being a web person, you might expect me to jump on the ebook/emagazine bandwagon, but I just can’t – yet. There is something I’m really excited about, though. This same colleague shared with me how he gets Wired on his iPad and how he can touch the photos and they become videos or 3D photos. This is a great use of the technology. Instead of converting the magazine into a PDF and throwing it on an iPad, Wired has made an interactive magazine that is only available on electronic mediums. This same idea can be used for textbooks in schools. It would make learning coming alive for the students. This makes me ALMOST want to run out and buy an iPad – almost.
But for now, I’m happy with my stack of magazines sitting next to my favorite chair and most of the friends that come over and flip through them are too.