Tuesday, December 18, 2007
BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Paper, Printing Trends and Circ.
Re: Long Live Paper!
A very big yeah! From a paper dude! I once had a cartoon I saved from the Economist that showed a lumberjack ready to cut the last tree and and eviromentalist standing proclaiming it was the last tree and the lumberjack only had the vision of the "last chair". I really don't think we will witness the end of trees or paper (but it always strikes me a little funny). And I love the debate and the fact that we all have to work a little harder to ensure or future!
(Submitted by a Paper Person)
Re: Long Live Paper!
I just got around to reading this... On my iPhone. And I sell paper for a living.
How sad is that?
(Submitted by a paper Person)
Re: Identifying the Top Trends for 2008
Bob: Say hi to Nick , . . . He has it right! It is all about the reader. It still is simple to round up the right readers and sell them to the advertisers! Give the advertisers what they really want - response. Give 'em what they want! One more thing! Taking newsstand alone out of the total circulation mix is silly. Great, let's raise newsstand prices, but still 'sell' subs at 12 issues for 12 dollars. then we can all complain about the decline in newsstand sales, and how smart the sub folks are. Let's compare the intro sub prices (forget basic rate) on some of the same titles to their newsstand prices, and track them over the last 5 -7 years, interesting.
Oh, and by the way, how about some newsletter writers who actually worked selling ads, or circ or with full P & L responsibility. Some things are easy to criticize, but very very hard to do
(Submitted by a Senior Distributor)
I guess I don't understand why "news" has to be an online medium and "information" has to be print. While there are some unique aspects to "paper technology" - emerging developments in e-paper readers and cost reductions in technology will erode this advantage over the next several years. Personally I'd like to see a tablet type portable that
allows me to download my paper or magazine or book via wireless and where appropriate read it in a design format that approximates to the analog original. Maybe the rumored ultra-portable from Apple, supposedly making an appearance at Macworld Expo in January will give some pointers to future trends.
(Submitted by a Publisher)
Re: Americans' Reading Proficiency in 'Alarming' Decline
The article asks, What are the consequences if America becomes "a nation in which reading is a minority activity"?
I know the answer to this question.
Specifically, I know what happens when people stop reading novels. Now, this article was at pains to say real *reading*, serious, manly, commercial *reading* was more important to study than an earlier NEA effort that got, I guess, bogged down in literary reading which "led critics to downplay its implications."
Novels, then, are the least of our problems: they're frills and idle pleasures, and if women want to go on reading them that's OK, but men surely don't have to, and maybe we can rework school curricula so they begin to disappear. Novels are not important.
Excuse me, but they are. Staggeringly important if it comes right down to it. This is serious, so allow me to explain.
Reading a novel requires entering the interior life of its characters. It's not a place any other art form can take you quite as fully, because you arrive there with the opportunity to reflect on your own life. (Movies, operating in real time, have extremely
limited opportunities for reflection, but thanks for playing.) By reading a novel, you develop three extraordinary skills: empathy, because a character's choices will actually make sense; sympathy, because a reader can share a character's emotions; and self-
knowledge, because the choices, circumstances, and behaviors the reader reflects on will doubtless extend his experiences, imaginary though they be, to include crucial decision about identity and self.
Let me put it another way. Could you invade Iraq if you'd read Moby- Dick and Middlemarch?
Not unless these books' insights into hubris and the nature of society's interdependence somehow eluded you. When reading a novel, I learn about myself and I learn about the world and I'm hard-pressed to think of any other thing that can teach so much, that can strengthen me so much.
I admit, reading is harder than video games. It's harder because reflection is involved. (And sometimes vocabulary, and a certain generosity toward cultural oddities of other times and places.) But reflection would be one of the last bits of baggage we'd want to discard. It is what makes society possible, tolerable, even hopeful. It is what makes death endurable, too.
So, if reading becomes a minority activity, we will have greed and useless levels of self-assurance and very little tolerance. The inner lives of others will become closed to us. That would leave us, I suppose, rather mystified by other people, and quicker still to see them as enemies. We will stop understanding each other.
Novels look like little pleasure craft floating along in society, not a causal force. But if we could dissect the fabric of thought and belief, we would surely discover that the cultivation of imagination had a great deal to do with the advances of science, and that the cultivation of empathy had a great deal to do with every bit of political, philosophical, and social progress mankind has made.
Literary reading is not a minor scrap of pleasure but the source of thinking that engages the self and world honestly and compassionately. Go ahead--try to think of something else that does.
(Submitted by an Industry Supplier)