Magazines and Books Maintain Print Popularity

Magazines and Books Maintain Print Popularity

We’ve discussed before how printed materials continue to have a presence in people’s lives despite digital media persevering. Magazines and books maintain print popularity by scratching an itch people seek out when wanting to read. After all, screens cannot always keep your attention in the way you desire! There are certainly advantages to e-books and digital magazines over physical ones. These include greater accessibility to more people, the ability to look up unknown words on the spot, and increasing text size to see it more easily.

However, printed books and magazines still have their place as well. You might say, “Colortech, you would obviously say this; after all, you’re a printing company.” That is certainly true, but with that, we are still all about embracing change and coming up with new creative solutions. These creative solutions can, of course, still include print! Here are just a few reasons people remain gravitated to this medium.

Smiling woman sitting on couch and reading a magazine with a coffee mug in her other hand.

Attention and Organization

By sitting with a paper product instead of a screen, you become fully engaged with what you’re reading and taking in. You cannot give in to distractions in the same way. After all, there are no notifications taking you to other apps nor are you reading messages from others!

Printed things also help keep your attention since designers and editors work carefully to highlight useful information and lay it out in a pleasing way. Certain items on the page are meant to grab your attention and maintain it, and these designers learn over time what catches people’s eye. By looking at a physical page, you are also more likely to look at the items on the page for a longer time.

When reading a printed book or magazine, it is also easy to mark something to look at later with a bookmark or from tabbing the page. While you can certainly save a link to a page that’s on a screen, it is easy to lose this in a plethora of other links you may have saved. You also aren’t able to look at a link and know exactly what it is going to right away. With a magazine or book, it is all in one place.

Senior woman sits in library surrounded by books at a table. She is writing in a book and also looking at one open in front of her.

Stress Relief

Whenever you walk into a library or a bookstore, a feeling of relaxation can instantly take over. Feeling the weight of the paper in your hand, the physical sensation of turning a page, smelling the ink– it is all part of an experience that a screen cannot capture. As a result, print popularity remains consistent as ever.

An article from Medium titled “Libraries Can Help in Times of Stress, Uncertainty, and Burnout” wrote regarding being in the presence of physical books and resources. They wrote, “Libraries are also a quality place for people to find essential resources. Extensive library collections, knowledgeable staff, and connections to other community resources and organizations are just a few of the many materials and information in place for people who need it.”  Psychological studies also indicate that reading from a physical book and taking in some of the tactile sensations listed above can be useful in treating stress and anxiety.

A smiling teenage boy sits at a desk in a coffee shop reading a book. He appears to be studying since there are more books open on the desk.

Retain Information

Another reason magazines and books maintain print popularity is that they offer someone an entirely new experience to step in for a bit. In other words, readers are able to focus on exact information and retain it at a much more consistent pace. Lauren M. Singer & Patricia A. Alexander’s study, “Reading Across Mediums: Effects of Reading Digital and Print Texts on Comprehension and Calibration,” discussed this exact phenomenon.

The researchers wrote that “students recalled key points linked to the main idea and other relevant information better when engaged with print.” While most of the students had actually said they liked reading digitally more, the information they recalled was much greater in printed format. This is an interesting concept to consider when thinking about the current push from schools and workplaces to go digital. Will their students/employees have more trouble understanding what they are supposed to know than if they had physical manuals and books? Only time will tell.

Lockhart, a firm dedicated to creating and printing professional presentation folders, summarized it best: “It may be optimal to distribute and read less complex materials—including simple how-to guides, marketing collateral, short fiction and some kinds of professional documentation—solely through digital channels. That said, studies have found improved comprehension and recall when content is consumed in a printed/analog format.” To paraphrase, digital media absolutely has its place, but we should not discount the importance of print media.

Interested in some of these ideas and want to apply them to your own workplace? Learn more about everything we offer here at Colortech Creative Solutions, whether with print, creative, logistics, or mailing.


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October 6, 2023

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