FYI to My Fellow Millennials: Print is cool

Today's guest post is by Peppercommer Catharine Cody.

Detssssssail_21507127I’m kind of an odd duck for my generation.  My clock radio (which is older than I am and inherited from my parents' guest bedroom) wakes me up every morning to Soterios Johnson on NPR’s Morning Edition.  While I’m sipping my coffee and deciding what to wear, I’m learning about President Obama’s G8 Summit and the NSA PRISM controversy. 

Along those same lines, when the Kindle and Nook started to gain popularity a few years back, I did not jump on board.  Books are even available on iPhones now, but my e-newsstand is blissfully empty.  I refuse to buy into that trend. So, when I decided to buy a year’s subscription to TIME magazine, people were a little surprised I opted for the print copy and not the iPad app. 

The thing is, I like the feel of paper in my hands.  I don’t care that the iPad apps are interactive, or that you can easily look up words you don’t know on Kindles and Nooks simply by double tapping on them.  I’m old school.  If I don’t know what a word means I (GASP) look it up in a dictionary.  An ACTUAL dictionary, not  Call me crazy, but I sometimes even try to figure out what an unfamiliar word means by using context clues. 

When I go on vacation, I pack a few books (hard and softcover) to read.  When I’m reading the morning’s headlines, I’m reading the print New York Times, AM New York and NY Metro.  I like getting ink stains on my fingers.  In fact, every ink-stained finger is a black badge of honor. 

So, when I saw the cover of TIME Magazine a few weeks ago about the Millennial Generation, I absolutely HAD to buy it.  And guess what? I read the entire issue cover to cover.  The magazine has amazing graphics to illustrate their stories. As a former graphics production assistant for MSNBC, I understand that these graphics are used to make the content really come to life.  The next week’s edition of TIME Magazine about China looked just as cool- so I bought that, too.  And then I decided, I might as well just bite the bullet and buy a year’s subscription to the publication.  Now, for a meager $23/year, I will have every issue of TIME delivered right to my doorstep. Winning!

Not only do I feel really cool among my peers who also commute each day by reading TIME Magazine, but I’m also able to bring new ideas to the table at work.  Last week’s issue had an article about classroom technology and a new platform that’s making it easier for kids to have one-on-one training instead of a “one size fits all” approach.  One of my clients is trying to break into the education technology industry.  Not only was I able to flag this article for my client, but my team members at work were impressed that I even thought to bring it up. 

Handheld e-readers may be easier to handle while commuting, and less cumbersome, but come on- it’s a joke.  One of the best, and most cathartic, parts about reading something is that you are able to see how far you’ve gone and how much you have left.  How am I supposed to highlight an interesting part of an article in TIME on an iPad?  How am I supposed to take notes or mark literary references in books without a pen? 

So, the next time you think that all millennials are ruining America with their new-fangled technology and “Devil may care attitude,” think of me, the girl who’d rather stay in bed and read than go out and drink on a Friday night.  I swear it’s JUST as cool.

7 thoughts on “FYI to My Fellow Millennials: Print is cool

  1. I loved this post. There’s room for all types…. and all sorts of channels. That’s what makes our jobs interesting…..

  2. Wow, there is hope! As an over-the-hill, 44-year-old editor, I’m happy to read about a Millenial who appreciates print. I actually find print newspapers and magazines more efficient and effective when scanning the news. On the web, I usually just get a hed and a lede, then have to click through for the entire article. But in print, I can quickly peruse an entire story at a glance, then turn the page…and repeat.
    But if you love books (as I do), I would encourage you to try an e-reader. Like you, I was opposed to them until four years ago, when I received one as a gift. My Kindle has done nothing to take away from my love of reading, while broadening my reading horizons. Every Saturday, I read the PRINT NY Times Book Review. Then I grab my Kindle and download samples of all the books that look interesting. If one of them grabs me, I download the entire book. You can borrow my Kindle if you’re so inclined. Just don’t look at my embarrassing library!

  3. Thanks for the comments, Laura + Book- I do agree that online/digital has it’s place and appreciate the convenience it brings, especially when I’m lugging two books around at once! Oh well, maybe they’ll start printing books on a lighter form of paper. You never know! Until then, I’ll be building my muscles with my books and magazines 🙂

  4. I do both and that includes magazines and periodicals. I like the Kindle for ease at work on my lunch but always reach for the book or magazine at home. Great article. Should be required reading in 9th grade if you ask me.

  5. Great post! I’m a fellow Millennial who shares your sentiments. I also prefer reading the print versions of magazines/newspapers/books, though online/digital has its place, too.
    I do disagree with the ink thing. Any ink that ends up on my hands somehow also ends up on my face. And that is not nearly as cool as staying in on a Friday night to read.

  6. Great post! As a fellow Millenial who shares the same sentiment, I completely agree and love reading the print versions of magazines/newspapers/books, though online has its place, too.
    One thing I disagree with you on, is the ink. I always end up with it on my face somehow . . . (not as cool as staying in to read).