Death of Magazines

I didn’t buy the current issue of Himal magazine. I instead read it on it’s website.

This is the first time ever I read the only magazine I buy on its digital format. It is not that I have stopped paying for the print version of the magazine – which I’ve been buying for more than a decade — from now on. I know I will not stop buying it, but convenience of getting favourite magazines free on their digital forms, either on PC, Notebook or smartphone, is stealing the limelight.

Nonetheless, reading favourite magazines in their print versions is always an authentic experience (of reading). But, world is growing more digital every next moment. If you can get updated news in real time right on your smartphone, why bother for magazines — whose contents are no longer new and updated until next issue hits the newsstand.

Books will survive the ruthless Internet. So will newspapers and weeklies. But, I don’t think magazines with longer gap of publication will, such as: fortnightly or monthly. Even the glossy magazines with longer publication gap are meeting their deaths. I read recently on a site that Gourmet, National Geographic Adventure, American glossy magazines had to announce their closure in late 2009 with former after 70 years of publication.

Even in our poor country, where computers and Internet are still out of the reach of most of us, smartphones have made it easy to browse favourite contents on the Internet. And, mobile service providers have done an excellent job in providing their customers mobile internet service via GPRS.

Internet is now only a few strokes away for most Nepalis who use mobile/smart phones. Thus are magazines and books in their digital formats.

As I can’t get them here at local newsstands, I read Rolling Stone, Esquire, TIME etc. on their ebook formats. Will Himal be added to the list someday? Can’t say what happens next, but for now I love getting it in its print version.

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