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WHY THE AMERICAN READER IS GOING
Last month The American Reader, a bimonthly journal of literature and criticism, announced that effective October 1, 2014 they will be turning their full focus to the printed version of their publication. Although they will still have an active website, the digital version of The American Reader will cease to exist.
With so many publications moving from print to digital, it seems that the editors of The American Reader have recognized some of the many benefits of print. Some of the reasons they cite for their decision include:
- Print is easily accessible – “Once you buy the Reader and bring it home (or have a mailman deliver it to your home on a bimonthly basis), it is available to you whenever and wherever.”
- Print promotes a higher level of engagement – “Engaging a print journal requires an active intentionality that digital browsing does not – that intentionality is a prerequisite of sustained and productive engagement with great art and criticism.”
- Print fulfills the journal’s mission – The digital space “was doing little in terms of fulfilling our mission to be a truly national magazine and to create a quiet space for serious contemplation outside the madding crowd of instant culture.”
- Print is popular nationwide – Although the digital version of The American Reader was growing in popularity, a “lopsided” percentage of readers were coming from New York City or similar metropolitan areas. In contrast, half of the Reader’s also-growing print readership comes from the middle of the country, with the other half split between the two coasts.
Uzoamaka Maduka, the Reader’s Editor-in-Chief and Co-founder, sums it up this way: “I am pleased to be confirmed in my suspicions that there is actually *growing* demand for beautiful and necessary print journals!”
In choosing print could The American Reader be starting a trend? It certainly is possible! After all, print’s physicality creates an emotional impact that you just can’t get from digital. Print is a warm, tactile media that stimulates the senses – and gets noticed, read, saved and shared.