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Print is Not Dead

by Greg Stokes

Speaking from the hot rodding background I know and love so well, I enjoy the history and the collectibles associated with it all. On that note and added to the fact I have written for various national and international publications – I really enjoy reading and collecting hot rod magazines.

My collection is not museum excessive in size or age but I simply collect what I like. Over the years these magazines have served many purposes from enjoyment or research for an article I am writing or a car I am working on. One thing I am very sure of is that magazine collecting is an obsessive addiction. With some magazines dating back as far as 1948 I also cannot help myself when it comes to visiting book stores when we are out or away or simply keeping my subscriptions up to date. To overcome the obsessive aspect I try to claim to myself or anyone in earshot that it’s all part of the research I do to hoard what may appear to some as junk!

In early December this year, the automotive aftermarket industry was rocked to the news from TEN (The Enthusiasts Network), based in California, USA that they would be ceasing print of approximately twenty of their specialist automotive titles. Announced on social media which ironically is partially responsible for the decline in magazine sales worldwide, there was as you could imagine quite an uproar from all corners of the globe. Affecting the hot rod market would be Street Rodder, Hot Rod Deluxe and other niche titles like super Chevy. As disappointing as it is, the news is a harsh reality of the world we live in which is generally based around a smart phone full of apps and corporate conglomerate who are experts in tax avoidance such as Facebook and Instagram. Remember the days when one would rely on the newspaper or limited television or radio for their news? Now we have a 24/7 news device in our pockets or at our finger tips from sources that actively avoid paying the same taxes you and I do as small business owners.

Has our readership behaviour really changed to the point that we no longer have the need for a printed version of what we read? I for one, still buy and read magazines and I know that advertisers know it continues to be the best place for them to be. We may not be able to stop the progression of technology but we can stop or change the way technology controls us. It’s like kids with video games or television (and now smart devices) – do kids know how to ride a bike, build a go-kart or a tree house? I don’t know. Do we know how to read a book, magazine, newspaper and communicate like we once did?

Now is the time to support cottage industry small business publishers from the eLocal you are reading now to the specialist publications you enjoy from automotive to fishing and everything in between. Please don’t sit back and grizzle and boycott a publication because you don’t enjoy the content – be proactive instead of reactive. Communicate with the publication, tell them your ideas, tell them what you want to read about, give opinion and remember the publication which is being published for you is about you and what you enjoy – get interactive!

To conclude, the photos in this article are of magazines of my own collection – some are old, some are favourites. I am always looking for old hot rod and automotive magazines so please don’t hesitate to contact me via email gregstokes1932@gmail.com if you have any old magazines you may wish to part with. Magazines, publications, annuals and so on are all part of the ongoing collation of history and milestones or achievements in the world we live in. Print is not dead, its to be enjoyed in different ways which embrace the past, enjoy current times and look forward to the future.

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elocal Digital Edition – January 2020 (#226)

elocal Digital Edition
January 2020 (#226)

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