I still buy print media. I love printed magazines. I love newspapers. I adore reading a big, heavy book.
This new year, I decided to upgrade my previously online-only New York Times subscription to get the Sunday edition delivered to my door. I read the news regularly, but this has been a game-changer. Something about the totality of the articles, all jammed together, prompts me to read and skim and dive deep into topics that I would otherwise pass by on the online NYT app.
The same happens with magazines – I remember recipes more clearly, reading Bon Appetit, than I do browsing recipes online. Don’t even get me started on books – I cannot retain any information from an ebook, and I never really get into it. But hand me a well-worn library copy and I forget where I am and what time it is. If it’s a book I own, I can guarantee you that I’ve underlined and written notes on nearly every page.
Even on a professional level, when I’m really having trouble editing my writing, I print it out and use a pen to draw all over it. I talked about my own processes for taking notes in a previous post, but, truly, information sticks in my brain better when I write by hand.
Sometimes I think I’m onto something – tactile methods of learning being more deeply imprinted into the brain, etc etc (I’m sure someone more qualified than me can say it better).
But other times, I think it’s just a reflection of educational methods that became habitual. I did work with computers in school, but up until college, the dominant medium was print. I had textbooks, I worked in notebooks, I hand-wrote my ideas. We learned digital literacy, certainly, but most things were still taught on pen and paper.
So now, as an adult in an increasingly digital world, I still find myself searching out print, in both my professional and personal life. I do love digital media, being able to scroll through stories on my phone – but I also love being able to spend a Sunday morning flipping through a big, fat newspaper, my hands smelling of ink and the stories imprinting on my brain.