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Rob F

Are we still in love with print?

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I am (or was) a self-confessed magazine junkie. I had subscriptions to:

 

  • Model Rail
  • Rail
  • Railway Magazine
  • Modern Railways

I stopped taking Railway Modellor nearly  20 years ago and apart from that the only magazine I have ever stopped taking was BRM.

 

However, I have come to realise that I was actually reading them less and less. My house is filling up with back issues and my head finally overtook my heart over the Christmas break and I cancelled them all, apart from Modern Railways. It was a sad but also a strangely liberating experience. I just get my information fix online these days. It maybe that in the future my resolve will leave me and I will have a relapse but at the moment I am quite happy with my choice.

 

I would be interested to know if others habits have changed over the years or maybe I was just an odd case in the first place!

 

 

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Not at all. I subscribed to Model Rail from day one and before that I started with Model Railway Constructor back in the 60’s. Add Railway Modeller, BRM and a few US mags into the frame and they soon piled up all over the house.

 

Then along came the web and the immediacy of asking a question and getting an answer in a few minutes left magazines behind. Now the web has developed to such a degree, magazines are virtually obsolete for me, even as works of reference. I’m guessing something like 500 magazines went to my local MRC and I doubt I’ve bought a magazine in over 10 years.

 

Of course it’s not only magazines as I suspect all my records and CD’s will take a similar route when all the music I need can be streamed. Storage space is always at a premium and 90% of my photographs are digital and stored on my computer.

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Stopped getting most of them years ago, the only magazine I get these days is MRJ.

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No, I still like the print versions.

 

My mate and I share magazines every month. I buy Hornby Magazine and BRM (still my two favourites) and he buys Railway Modeller and Rail Express and we swap them.  All purchased from local newsagents to support the high street.

 

Plus we get Traction and the Railway Modelling newspaper "freebie"!

 

The only one we stopped getting was Model Rail which IMO was getting a bit stale plus terrible paper quality. 

 

Wouldn't like to read them on a screen though as it's nice to relax with a traditional magazine - somehow slower and more comforting. 

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Yes. Still buy paper magazines and books.

 

Had a try of a digital magazine and found it totally unreadable. The same goes for webpages where it's just walls of text. YMMV.

 

 

 

Jason

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13 minutes ago, cravensdmufan said:

 

 

Plus we get Traction and the Railway Modelling newspaper "freebie"!

 

Hasn't that just been discontinued?

 

 

 

Jason

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16 minutes ago, Steamport Southport said:

 

Hasn't that just been discontinued?

 

 

 

Jason

I wasn't aware of that Jason.

 

Edit ; But having just checked their website a pop up window comes up confirming that.

 

Thanks,

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20 minutes ago, cravensdmufan said:

I still like the print versions.

 

 

7 minutes ago, Steamport Southport said:

Yes. Still buy paper magazines and books.

 

 

Yep, me too.

 

I only subscribe to one model railway mag (and a couple of society journals) but I buy others occasionally. Not having either a paper or electronic subscription means I can dip in and out of individual titles and issues as I fancy without any further financial commitment.

 

And yep, I prefer to read a printed version on the couch, in bed, down the pub, on a train, etc., rather than trying to log on and read a tiny screen.

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21 minutes ago, cravensdmufan said:

Wouldn't like to read them on a screen though as it's nice to relax with a traditional magazine - somehow slower and more comforting. 


Very well put. The experience is completely different. I like to read a magazine, but look at things on the web.

 

I’m also in a ‘magazine rota’ with a pal, but we have definitely cut down in recent years, more because neither of us now commute, so will no longer buy things just to pass the journey, than because of the internet, although the internet probably put the nail in the coffin of my ‘Bylines’ subscription.

 

The only ‘definite buy’ I now make is Railway Modeller, and friend always buys MRJ. ‘Backtrack’ I really enjoy as a read, but even that I only buy about 1:3 editions, to avoid clutter-gathering.

 

Railway Magazine I ceased to view as a good magazine about 25-30 years ago, when it seemed to fall prey to over-journalistic attitudes.

 

I’ve not been at all impressed with on-screen versions of magazines and only have one such subscription, bought for me as a present, so it would be rude to say no!

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3 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

 I like to read a magazine, but look at things on the web.

 

That is exactly what I was trying to say, thanks!

 

I did try a trial digital version but didn't like the experience.

 

Plus the fact that when I'm lying on the sofa (with stove going!) it doesn't matter when the printed copy falls on the floor and wakes me up!   Dropping an iPad would put me in very bad humour!  :o

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Interesting article. I have previously held subs with both MR and RM. However, I recently ditched them and now subs to NGIRMR. If I see another mag I like during a month, I pick up a print copy. 

 

I've tried online issues but, like books on Kindles etc, find I don't take in the info as well. Sitting with a mag, a cup of tea and chocolate digestive can be the perfect end to a day. 

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Yes, I subscribe to some magazines, and buy others occasionally if they have content that interests me. With back issues, after a while I go through them, discard the advertising and uninteresting pages and save the rest in ring binders - Saves a lot of space, and weight in the loft !

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Digital BRM for me.

 

Very occasional  buyer RM, Model Rail, Hornby and MRJ 

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11 hours ago, Nearholmer said:


Very well put. The experience is completely different. I like to read a magazine, but look at things on the web.

 


I like the above distinction, absolutely on the mark for me. I have two subscriptions MRJ, and model railroader. Others I buy hard copies if a subject is of particular interest. All my old mags were recycled, after removing articles of interest into a plastic A4 filing wallet. The other day it occurred I’ve not looked at any of those articles since.

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An interesting thread.

 

With regard to storage of print copies, my mate and I stopped keeping them.  Once every 3 months we take them in to a local charity bookshop where they make a good few quid for a hospice.  They are delighted because the issues are always up to date and they get snapped up quickly.  I'm pleased that our purchases go on to help the charity. 

 

Very occasionally I will scan the odd "how to" article beforehand to keep on my hard drive for future reference.  

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Just a side issue about this. I really, really ought to go digital. But, as I type this, I've got a pile of old magazines which are full of things like wagons, locomotives, etc. I'd like to keep the hard copies, as a reference point. 

 

I don't take magazines any longer, and not for a long while. Now I've typed this, I can expect a knock on the door from the 'eavy gang... " Where's your gold subs, you 'orrible little scroat?"

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I used to get Model Rail, Hornby, BRM and Railway Modeller every month, but I found myself wondering what exactly I was getting for my £20 monthly outlay. With some magazines, I'd read the entire issue and find myself entirely unable to remember anything I'd just read. There might be an unusual layout, an interesting prototype article or a useful how-to. But to be honest, often the how-tos are "here's an expensive product, here's how you use the expensive product" or about DCC, which I don't use (I admit that this is a personal preference rather than a general critique). I went from "I can't wait 'til the next issue!" to "Ah, I see the next issue is out."

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When I talk to modellers at show, they all express a love for print. It might be that RMweb members are self-selecting in this respect being more comfortable with on-line and digital.

 

Warners certainly sees a future for print as a honking great new printing hall is being finished as we speak, massively increasing their capacity.

 

My favourite digital format is through Exact Editions. The search is brilliant. I've a pile of old Garden Rail magazines to dispose of now as it easier to search on-line. That said, if I enjoyed a large library, I'd still have complete sets of most mag nicely bound on the shelf for perusing.

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I have axed all regular magazine purchases apart from my subscription to Modern Railways. Digital v hard copy for the others wasn't really relevant. I found there was less and less in them of interest. I used to buy Railway Modeller every month - I must have stopped doing so at least 10-15 years ago and most went in the recycling. I bought Model Rail from issue one but lost interest in it. I also bought Rail from day one but cancelled the subscription a couple of years ago. I don't think I have bought a single Rail or Model Rail since and only very occasionally do I buy Railway Modeller. I also occasionally buy other magazines if there is something of interest, including Steam Days, Backtrack, MRJ and very occasionally others. If there is something I might want to keep for reference, I certainly want hard copy and much prefer to read articles that way. My eyes don't work well for reading large amounts of text on screen.  I still receive various society publications and generally prefer hard copy even where there is a digital option, although a couple of my subscriptions are digital only.

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I just bought a copy of "Narrow Gauge and Industrial Railway Modelling Review", I saw this magazine at a show and I had never heard of it before. The current issue is number 120 so I have missed a great deal. This is a first-class publication, with content far more engaging than the 'popular' magazines. Recommended as an example of how to do it in print, even if narrow gauge or industrial subjects aren't really your thing.

 

https://narrowgaugeandindustrial.co.uk

 

- Richard.

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Magazines are good for inspiration.

 

Taking  last month's BRM as an example,  I spent a long time poring over the photos of  the layout "Alderford".  I have long been considering building my next layout featuring WCML electrics and OHLE.  And a result of Andy's stunning photography  - particularly the double page opener on pages 64/65 - I treated myself to a Christmas present of two Bachmann 90s! 

 

If I see layouts on the web, whether they be stills or YouTube videos,  the images don't grip me as much as seeing them in print.  There's just something about it.  Phil, I'm glad to read Warners see a future for the print format. Thanks.

 

Just one small point re: BRM.  Why are the photos in the print edition often duplicated within the edition?  May I use "Alderford" again as an example?  Cracking eye catching front cover - then the very same photo appears within, albeit the full version.  I mentioned it to Ben some time back when he was in the hot seat and he took it on board and duplicates stopped appearing.  But now they have crept back. 

 

 

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I've never subscribed to any of the big name monthly magazines as some issues just have nothing of interest to me. I buy RM when it does have interesting layouts or articles, and I subscribe to N Gauge now as it's only quarterly and all N.

 

Tried reading RM online once as part of a trial offer - never again, paper magazine is much more tactile and easier to read through.

 

Paul

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I most definitely prefer paper.  I subscribe to 3 French magazines all paper versions.  It used to be more, but with retirement came a need t cut ones cloth and also a realisation that perversely with retirement I had less time to read than when working.  [I had to travel a lot and this presented numerous occasions when I would have maybe 20-30 minutes of time when I could not practically use the laptop and so could pull out a magazine and read an article or two.]

I also have subscriptions with three specialist societies and again opt for paper copies.

My only digital subscription is with BRM and then only because the postage costs France are just stupid - no fault of BRM itself, just the costs of mailing overseas.  I have taken occasional digital copies of RM - principally to have the scale plans, which I have found to be impossible to print out to an acceptable quality.

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The printed word has always had an attraction for me but notwithstanding this I gave up regular purchases some several years back finding the modern journalistic style not to my taste added to the fact that so much of the "new" material seemed to me, re-hashed stuff that  I read years back!   As a purely personal preference DCC is of no interest to me, and has made material for the hobby even more expensive. One can usually fairly easily learn  or discover what one wishes to find out on line these days and membership of a forum is of great help. Having said that, like  many others, apparently, I find on-line magazines very hard work and totally unattractive.

 

 

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