Print versions of books, magazines, and newspapers have been in a downward spiral in terms of readership numbers for a long time now, we all know this. Which is kind of a drag because I'll admit it, I still enjoy print media a bunch. Don't get me wrong, I love how the Internets have opened up so much to so many and the speed with which one can obtain info now from the couch, oftentimes for free. I wouldn't be writing this right now, nor would I have started taking photos as often as I do without it, I bet.
I still get Spin and Vanity Fair by mail, and often pick up the print version of a magazine if its cover catches my eye. And every Sunday for countless years now, I still shell out $6.00 for the print version of the Sunday NY Times that doesn't even include the City, Metro, or Real Estate sections, some of my favorites. Usually then I'll take the paper to brunch and read it there, leisurely reading while leisurely eating. I don't always finish it right then, but I do take it on the subway with me and read it on my commute to the day job during the week. Reading a print version of something doesn't require batteries or a plug, you can take it anywhere, fit it into any bag/pocket/coat, and generally it doesn't require a fancy carrying case to shield it from damage. Sure I may get ink on the fingers and print media can often create clutter if you let it, but to me, print media represents time to myself, learning, calmness, and a reprieve from the chaos that life can bring.
When I discovered Paste Magazine a number of years back, I always enjoyed it and would often buy it. Plus, it always put on a hell of a yearly day party at SXSW. Paste's editor, Nick Marino has been writing about music for a long time and has a great way with words. I long thought he steered the print version in a way that was different (read: better) than many of the other American music mags out there. The articles were typically smart and often snarkily funny, the page colors typically rich and appealing to the eye, and it was usually many steps ahead in terms of the indie music I like than, say, Rolling Stone. So it was rather sad to read the following today:
Today Paste Media Group announces, with deepest sadness, the suspension of the Paste magazine print product.
Struggles with mounting debt were made public last year when our readers responded with generosity to save the magazine. But the prolonged downturn of the ad market has forced a hiatus. Paste, while considering strategic alternatives, is focusing on its digital assets, including PasteMagazine.com.
We thank all of those who have shown such tremendous support to a vision of independent media focused on Signs of Life in Music, Film & Culture, including subscribers, advertisers, writers, photographers, illustrators, publicists, record labels, movie studios, book & game publishers and others in the press.
All Paste print subscribers will have access to the digital version at Paste online through the June/July issue.