Both Jay and Frolin hit on something I have never thought of; I too never re-read any digital product (except this forum)! Conversely, I am always re-reading back issues of magazines. Some of these are decades old! I also over the course of the month (in my “readying room”), read every word of a printed magazine. I start with a new issue hitting the most interesting things and end a month later by reading the classified adds and publishing masthead! I NEVER do that with digital. As a side note, I have never experienced a magazine’s battery dying!
I grew up reading magazines. My Grandfather subscribed to at least a dozen mags ranging from U.S. News And World Report to Outdoor Life, Field and Stream, and American Shooter to Popular Mechanics and Popular Science. Over the years I have managed to find and read nearly every published issue of Model Railroader, Railroad Model Craftsman, Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette, Railmodel Journal, Model Railroading, and The NMRA Bulletin. There are numerous other hobby mags mixed in too. As a hobby shop employee in my past life, I read everything on the shelf in the store, R/C, gaming, plastic modeling, etc! After 9/11, my job changed and I needed to “lighten” my possessions; I filled a dumpster with printed hobby magazines! Digital just isn’t the same!
As one can imagine, when I was in Afghanistan, digital magazines were a real bonus. Available and current! But I still had my wife forward my Model Railroader magazine with my care packages! I left them there along with the models I built while there. I imagine there are some very confused Afghan nationals, trying to figure out the significance of this stuff after they took over my area! Almost nobody in Afghanistan has ever seen a railroad, let alone a miniature of one! Probably now embedded in some local Islamic codex as a forbidden imperialistic sin!
I still hold my belief that the change in the hobby from print to digital is not driven by preference, but by finance. Paper printing today is cost prohibitive, period. Several of the lost magazines were available because the publisher was able to slip production in the excess or margins of larger magazines. As the costs paired back printing, the excess dried up, and the hobby mags fell off. Even today, the only hobby mags still getting printed are the result of consolidated production and publishing. Like it or not, I believe these “stronger” magazines are ultimately doomed. As the infrastructure that supports printing expires (printing presses wear out…) there is less capacity, it will eventually all be gone. But I bet the hobby will still exist!
The next time I am over at David’s, I’ll bring some old (1960s and 70s) model railroad printed stuff I recently found! Like a old NMRA national listings of model railroaders! You might be surprised who’s name showed up!