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While you will still find plenty of paper publications currently available, the trend today is to offer a digital version instead of or in addition to the printed one. Why? Primarily, because the content has never been so easy to acquire, online marketplaces like Apple iTunes, the Amazon Kindle Store, Barnes & Noble's Nook Book Store, and many others are just a tap away from any mobile device. Subscribe to a digital publication, and when new issues become available, you are a sent a notification so that you can download them instantly to your device.
No more waiting for your magazine subscription to be delivered or perhaps even lost in the mail, and you never even left the comfort of your couch. Another reason for the shift to digital publications is the number of engaging features that ink on paper simply can not provide. Features like hyperlinks that connect viewers to additional content, or allow them to share their experience through social networks. Movies and animations incorporated within a digital publication to enhance the reader's experience or just further illustrate a complicated topic, and, of course, photography, is even more impressive when viewed on a backlit device.
As an instructor who travels a lot, I like the portability of having my entire library of textbooks on a device that weighs little more than a pound. I can highlight and make notes on the digital versions of my books, just as I would on the printed ones. Because I can carry the entire library with me, I have all of my reference material immediately available wherever I go. Paper publications may not completely disappear from news stands in the next year, but the push to digital is on. With all the wonderful features that digital publications offer it is no wonder more and more people are preferring digital over print.
As technology improves and devices become even more widespread, digital publishing will be the standard, not only for recreational reading, but for all forms of documentation. It is a brave new world for content creators and consumers alike.
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