The Demise of the Printed Word


It’s no surprise that the printed word is disappearing.  Take a look at the number of newspapers that are disappearing with the popularity of the Internet.  And with the advent of eReaders, many people are choosing to purchase electronic books rather than the traditional printed and bound tome.   I will admit to being one of those individuals.  Will this change in how we read impact quilters and other crafts people?
Absolutely yes.  I found that out this morning.  I’ve mentioned before that I let Google Alerts help me find interesting quilting news on the Internet.  Every morning, Google Alerts sends me an email with a list of articles and pictures based on my choices of keywords: 

Quilting, quilts, quilt

As I normally do, I read through the list of some 16-20 article links.  The first four that I chose to click through to read gave me about four lines of text.  When I finished reading those four lines, I had to subscribe to the newspaper that had published the articles, if I wanted to read any more of the story.  No, I’m not going to pay subscription fees to all these newspapers around the world to read the rest of a good story.  I’m not THAT dumb.  But I really would like to read the articles!
What about all the quilting magazines that are on the shelves of grocery stores and in the bookstores that are left (Goodbye, Borders!)?  Who is buying those?  I buy only one magazine, and that is from AQS.  It is delivered to me via the United Postal Service (also disappearing soon) as a part of my membership fee.  If I want to look at other quilts, I go online where I can see plenty of beautiful quilts.  The quilts I see that make me swoon are saved to my Pinterest page for later viewing, OR saved to my computer in my Inspirations folder. 
What about quilting books?  I rarely purchase a book for itsContemporaryQuilts patterns.  I may be unusual in that respect, but my personal preference is to design my own quilts, not make replicas of someone else’s work.  I may leaf through a book in the bookstore, but it has to be pretty fabulous for me to purchase it.  I have spent so much money in my lifetime on quilt books, and my shelves will only hold so many.  Again, I turn to the Internet to get my quilt photo fix.  I am also seeing more quilting books in electronic format.  If you can read a quilting book on your Kindle (or other eReader) or computer, and you have the option to print a page or two on your printer, that will work for getting a pattern from the book.
What do you think about all these changes?  Share your thoughts below by leaving a comment. 

NOTE: I have mountains of old quilt magazines in my basement that I need to part with.  I’m not moving them from house to house anymore.  If you’re interested, let me know.  A good deal is to be had!

Edited 9/28/2011 to add this link to an article by  The Future of Books: A Dysotopian Timeline   Worth reading!!!

4 thoughts on “The Demise of the Printed Word

  1. I guess this really shows my age. I have noticed none of my kids get a newspaper but I read The Japan Times, delivered to my post each day, cover to cover. I am a very slow reader but like holding those paper books in my hand, a paper clip where I left off and exchanging them with friends when finished.I would never copy someone elses pattern and these days the quilting magazines are strongly geared to machine piecers but I like the old copies of Quilt or Quilters Newsletter magazines. I have no printer in my laptop and I can not carry it with me on the train or take it to meetings. I hear my younger friends getting excited about their kindles but I'm glad I can still swap paperbacks with my friends.


  2. Nothing, to me, will ever beat the thrill of holding a new book [or a very old one!~] in my hand. I do still collect quilt books, too. I'm with you on designing my own patterns, but sometimes it's really nice to make something someone else sweated over, lol!

    I don't have an e-book reader, I get most of my books from the library – I sure do hope they don't close down! I don't buy magazines, although if Mary Englebreit brings back Home Companion, I'll be first in line to subscribe – she's got a petition going!


  3. I cancelled my newspaper subscription several years ago as there wasn't enough in it that was interesting (small town) I read my newspapers on line now. I read quilting into on line, I get no quilting magazines – I have a Kindle and have not bought anything but quilting books since I got it (I do use some of the patterns) — eventually I think there will be less and less in printed material.


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