Survival Stories photo

Magazines made from the flesh of murdered trees have been around for quite some time, but all I keep reading lately is how their days are numbered. The evidence is convincing. You are, after all, reading right now. Traditional magazine ad pages and circulation numbers are plummeting as former readers flock to new forms of mass communication.

But I saw this story and wondered: How many of you would be willing to give up paper-based magazines in favor of reading your favorite hunting and fishing magazines on an electronic device similar to the Amazon Kindle.

From the story:

Eight months ago, after more than 14 years working as a digital-media business developer at News Corp., Daren Benzi left his job and joined a relatively unknown company called Plastic Logic, based in the same neighborhood as Google’s headquarters in Silicon Valley. The company is building what they hope will be a Kindle killer–the first mobile digital reader made specifically for newspapers and magazines.

It’s an interesting concept, but a few paragraphs down the writer hit upon why I believe devices like this and the Kindle will never truly replace paper:

“Perhaps magazines and newspapers can cling to their cultural and personal relevance with an e-reader. How many of us still keep old issues of the magazines that defined our teenagehood–like Sassy_, the precursor to_ Jane_, or_ Spy magazine–not only for their content, but for the advertisements, which are a pop-culture time capsule of their own?”

Now I never (thank God) read Sassy or Spy. But I did read Field and Stream, Outdoor Life, Sports Afield, American Hunter, Southern Outdoors and a host of other magazines, some long-gone, others still kicking. And the copies I managed to hang onto are indeed cherished time capsules. Books and magazines don’t experience hard-drive crashes, software compatibility issues, dead motherboards or replacement by Version 2.0.