Print Vs. Digital – Where Do You Stand?

In the seemingly continual push toward digital media these days, do you ever find yourself wondering whether printed magazines may one day become a thing of the past? Whenever this topic comes up around the editorial office, there seem to be valid arguments for both sides of this issue.

Personally, I find that while I often enjoy reading digital magazines, there is still no substitute for the arrival of a fresh new printed magazine in my mailbox, or the discovery of a new magazine on the newsstand. I take pleasure in grabbing a cup of coffee and heading to the patio with a magazine tucked easily under my arm, ready to absorb every word and ad page-by-page. It’s quick and easy to open up a pattern pull-out section to get a feel for just how large or small a template or pattern is while I’m making my plans for which projects I might want to make. I also like being able to grab a back issue for reference, and place sticky-notes on pages with handy info I want to remember.

But I can’t deny the appeal of a digital magazine – so many issues in so little space, the ability to search for information and to bookmark favorite content, or quickly explore the website of an advertiser. Once in a while, if I need to print a pattern or template, I can print out a few pages and tape template patterns together as needed. But if you’re at all like me, sometimes that added step instigates a technological communication battle with the printer, at which point I pine for the printed edition!

Won’t you take a moment of your time to tell us where you stand on the print vs. digital issue? Your opinion is very valuable to us. Please click here to answer 2 quick multiple-choice questions – no email address required, no login information, no ads – just 2 questions and click “Done”.

Thank you, kind reader!


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17 Responses to Print Vs. Digital – Where Do You Stand?

  1. I too like having a hard copy of the magazine to sit down with and browse with a cup of coffee or glass of wine or take with me when I leave home for a visit to the doctor or short trip. But I really want that hard copy with me when I am going to cut the fabric and piece the pattern. Then again – online content is great because you can supply a lot more information and not be so tied down to page count. What I would love to see is to have downloads available of the templates, or paper piecing patterns – I could download and print out as many as I need. Or print out a line drawing of a pattern so I could color in my own version of it. Or download an EQ file of the pattern so I could play around with my own color combinations. Or….. so many possibilities for online content to complement the hard copies of the magazine.

  2. Lesley Maple says:

    For me, it’s a simple question. Having the printed magazine doesn’t appeal to me as much anymore because my iPad is always with me, so I can always read my books/mags when I have a minute or two while waiting at an appt. I don’t have to think ahead and plan for what to have with me…my library is always with me.

    I don’t have issues printing to my home printer. On my iPad with the correct app I can write notes on the patterns so I can remember ideas that came to me while reading. If I find myself unexpectedly near a fabric store (or a yarn shop since knitting is another hobby) I just whip out my iPad and I can see exactly what materials I need for a planned project.

    I honestly didn’t think I’d make the jump to digital from print when it came to my knitting and sewing magazines but I can’t imagine not having digital content anymore.

  3. Marj says:

    I like both but my husband said I could subscribe only if it is digital so there is my choice. I’ll be glad when all quilting magazines are digital! LOL

  4. Sheila Kester says:

    I can see advantages to haveing both, but I would not want to give up my printed issues. I love being able to go into a store and viewing the new magazines to see if on of them interests me enough to buy it. I cannot afford to have a subscription to every quilting magazine that is out there as I am on a limited income. Having it digitally would also be great, so that I did not have to have all the storage space for my magazines. I don’t have a problem with copying my templets and instructions for a special project. It would be really nice if you could view all the new magazines without having a digital subscription I suppose, but I doubt that will happen.

  5. Jan Turner says:

    Until just recently all we had available to us was dial-up connections so it wasn’t a matter of choice, digital or print. Even now, we are limited to the amount of items we download for x amount of $. Therefore I still want the printed issues for several reasons. I know they are a problem for space after a while, so when that happens, I go through them, take what I want, and pass them on to someone who doesn’t take the magazine. You can’t do that with digital. It’s so relaxing just to flip and enjoy the look and feel of the printed magazines. Call me old fashion, if you want! :)

  6. Sandra D. says:

    The digital idea is great, but not for me. I “work” at home, out in the country, and have no high speed internet connection available. I use a MiFi device which limits my data acquisition. I need the print versions. Already I am cut out of online classes. I know lots of women who use the latest and greatest and even use computer programs to design quilts. I also know lots of women who are on strict budgets and get quilting books from the public library. They buy most of their fabric at garage sales and thrift stores. We even have a thrift store dedicated to craft supplies! Each and every one of them has at least 1 quilt magazine subscription. Subscription rates are a cheap pleasure each month or 2. Not to mention they make nice gifts from family at gift giving time. They are saved, reread, used and shared and sometimes, finally donated. They couldn’t do that with an electronic version. These women can afford to quilt because they are making something of value, that even their wealthier relations prize. I myself have given quilts to my very privileged nieces and found that they place great value on them. I love having a stash of magazines with dogeared corners to rummage through and sometimes as I flip through and “oldie but a goodie” I’ll find something I had overlooked before. That’s much more likely with a print version.

  7. Daisy C. says:

    I think that although the digital image is very nice I still prefer to get my in print. I get so excited when I find a quilting magazine in my regular mailbox and I like looking thru my old issues and seeing something I might not have wanted to make when the magazine came but now it looks very appealing. I am this way about books too. I just like having the actual book in my hand. Thanks.

  8. Sharon says:

    I don’t want to have “space” taken up by magazines. I like to take my mag. to all kinds of places to read. I don’t have a digital reader. I have many friends who don’t own computers & can only enjoy a print issue. There are downsides to the print issue as well, but I’ve dealt with them for many years successfully. thank you

  9. Sharon says:

    I should have said computer space in the first sentence!

  10. Darice H. says:

    I love the excitement of receiving the magazine in the mail! It’s like a little gift each time it arrives. I agree with some of the others that there is something special about holding the magazine in your hands and turning the pages. I just don’t think I would ever want to give up having the actual quilting magazine in my hands as opposed to viewing it from a digital format.

  11. Kitty says:

    I prefer the paper version as it is so good to sit down with it, while sipping my coffee.
    Then when the quiltinggroup comes to my house, they all look at the magazine too. Sometimes one of them borrows it to have a better look at it.
    I pick the magazine up time and again till I am finished with it. If it were on my computer I would look through it once and forget to go back to it, so it would not be worth it and I would probably not subscribe anymore.
    That would be a pity, as I like your magazine very much.

  12. Liisa says:

    I prefer printed,the pictures and print are more clear and larger.Even enlarging on the computer is fuzzy and frankly, a pain in the butt. You have to enlarge this and then make the page smaller, and then turn the page and enlarge the next section. I like to take my magazine to bed, it’s easier on the eyes at night. And I don’t have problems taking a magazine on an Airplane to read. And it’s light in weight. And not a problem if the cat or someone sits on it or drops it.

  13. Gwynne says:

    I prefer print for the ability to quickly browse back and forth, the portability, the pleasure of looking at the magazine. Also, many areas where I live do not have high speed internet readily available, and this limits viewing of the digital version. The computer screen is smaller too. Having to print items or patterns I am interested in takes money (printer cartridges, paper) and these pages do not keep as well as traditional magazines do. Overall, print wins in my corner. In fact, if a magazine went only digital, I would likely drop it’s subscription.

  14. Deb T. says:

    I like the idea of having digital magazines because they wouldn’t take up as much space as they do now on the floor, under chairs or on book shelves. Unfortunately I only have my computer which is uncomfortable to sit at for any length of time.

    I do love getting my magazines in the mail because I can take them with me anywhere and read them anytime I want. I can share them with my friends and grab an old one and become inspired all over again.

  15. Kathleen says:

    I love being able to sit down and read the magazines however because I live in Australia, the cost blows out.
    I now subscribe to digital versions because I can have them for little cost and instantly once released. I am looking at getting an ipad or tablet so that I can sit on my verandah and read at leisure.

  16. Cathy W. says:

    I don’t want to loose the printed page. As I get older I find it harder and harder to stare at a computer screen, even the IPad. I can go to sleep with a good book/magazine. The light from a digital screen will keep you awake even after it is turned off. Science is telling us you have to stop looking an hour before bedtime or you can’t get to sleep as well.
    I can roll a magazine and take it anywhere. It fits in a bag, backpack and travels where no electricity exists. We have power outages often and if all I had to read was digital – well it’s a no ‘brain-r’.

  17. Ida says:

    I love the printed copy. Getting an issue in the mail is like getting a present that you can’t wait to open up and enjoy. I like to look at the pictures right before I good to sleep so it will inspire me to have wonderful dreams about making my next quilt. I work at a computer all day and the last thing I want to do after work is stare at a my computer at home too.

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