Is Your Travel Reading Dinosaur or Digital?

It was with some pain and agony when I finally switched from paper books to a digital e-Reader. Maybe old habits die hard but dinosaur-ish as it sounds, I still have an old-fashioned paper magazine or two (or three or ten, depending on the length of my flights) with me in my travels. Yes, I have added to my digital newsstand with iPad mags but for those times when all electronic devices need to be off, paper magazines are what keep me occupied.

When the Alliance for Audited Media recently released its magazines report for the second half of 2012, I was interested to see where someone like me fall into their stats.

Total circulation for magazines dropped 0.3% from the same time period last year but newsstand sales fell a whopping 8.2%.

However, the organization stated, “The number of average digital magazine copies sold has more than doubled compared with the second half of 2011.” Impressive gains, but digital makes up less than 2.4% of the industry’s average circulation. Strange since Amazon said more than a year ago that over 50% of their book sales are digital.

The 8.2% drop in newsstand sales is not surprising but the low percentage of digital circulation is. However, that will be changing. Consider that the final print publication for Newsweek was their December 31, 2012, issue. They have now transitioned to an all-digital format called Newsweek Global.

For this traveler, I’ll continue to support both formats. I like ripping out a good magazine article for later reference (I try to rip quietly while inflight) but also appreciate the reduced weight in my paperless laptop tote. I’m on the see-saw of magazine formats now … half paper, half digital. Truth be told, the scale would tip to 100% recycleable paper if travel wasn’t involved and weight wasn’t an issue.

How about you and your travel reads? Have you gone paperless?

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  1. I use my IPad for reading books but it just doesn’t feel right with magazines. But I had better start adapting soon!

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