2013 was the year I finally kicked print


I got a new Kindle for Xmas and I'm absolutely loving it. The backlighting is so smooth and subtle, I can read in the dark without disturbing the other half. It's a brilliant piece of technology connected to an endless supply of reading material.

I've been on track to phasing out print media for a long time. My original Kindle arrived in 2010 and I pretty much immediately stopped reading printed books, at least non-reference works. The Kindle experience is so smooth and the device so versatile, it's hard to beat. I experimented with getting newspapers pushed to the Kindle via email for a while too, so stopped reading print there.


I bought one of the first Android tablet computers back in late 2011 and started switching a lot of my reading to that straight away. I stopped my Guardian Weekly subscription after I found myself rarely taking it out of the mailing wrapper. (I renewed it later when they ran a just-ridiculous offer, which I suspect was some kind of sneaky way of boosting the internal business case for Guardian Australia.)


Since then I've been through a couple of tablets to settle on the Nexus 7 which has proved to be the ideal form factor and power level. I now spend most of my reading time on this. Interestingly though, I find the Kindle better for long-form, even though the same books are available on the Kindle app.

I also began last year using it and Evernote for taking work-related notes. I've now mostly migrated away from scrappy notebooks for this task. I still use paper notes for short-term things like daily to-do lists but not much else.


The last time I picked up a newspaper was grabbing a free one at some event late last year. Not to read, but to clean the barbecue. The date on the last page I used before picking up a new one was 2008. Though I've avoided Australian newspapers, digital and print, since moving back from London. I just couldn't stomach the low-brow jingoism and poor quality.


The last holdout of print for me was Make magazine. I've still been subscribed to it until late last year. Again, though, I've found myself not really reading it. Not because it's poor quality, just lack of time.

I bought a laser printer back in 2008. It's still on the toner cartridge it came with, and only its second ream of paper. It only ever gets used to print out things like event tickets, a business still firmly stuck in the paper era. (They'll sell you a "mobile ticket" but they charge more for it and last time we used it, it didn't even work!)


So 2013 was the year print went out for me. Don't see it changing. I imagine I'll still buy The Economist or something similar next time I take a long haul flight, solely because of the in cabin use restrictions. Otherwise, I'm done with print.

I'm somewhat nostalgic about print. My first real job out of school included doing cut-and-paste layout work on the People and Picture magazine display classifieds. Old skool. And much of my early career I earned money writing for magazines and newspapers.

That said, I don't miss the bad things about print. Being limited in what content you could consume by what was available. The weight of books, magazines and papers weighing you down. The fact that if you lost your bookmark, you had to hunt through to find your place. The ink rubbing off cheap newsprint onto your hands.