The latest issue of House Beautiful is on newsstands...

Makes my heart go pitter patter:  The issue is on color!
Makes my heart sink: The first article is on... whitewash? Huh?

But it's still a lovely issue - especially these daring greens.

Posting these pictures as the issue is on newsstands brings me to another subject:  the survival of magazines. I posted just these two pictures - as many conscientious bloggers do - as a teaser. Why? I love magazines, and I want them to survive. That means not undermining them by making something costly available for free. I'm not sure if House Beautiful would appreciate this thoughtful approach though - mostly since they don't employ it themselves. I didn't purchase House Beautiful, rip out the pages, scan them into a computer, and then post them here. I just visited the website. Because all of those beautiful pictures you have to pay good money for in a store are posted for free on their website. 

Why would this make sense? It's not clear - perhaps HB believes that the articles will be enough to compel people to purchase. Perhaps they believe that online won't compete with paper. Perhaps they've just given up. 

Web guru Clay Shirky has a marvelous and deeply insightful article on why print is - and will for the foreseeable future continue - failing. Essentially, not much has changed since the 1500s and the Gutenberg Bible. It's all been ink, paper, and printing. And those cost money - until they don't. The web is free or mostly free, instant, and completely eliminates the middle man. As Shirky points out: "it makes increasingly less sense even to talk about a publishing industry, because the core problem publishing solves — the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public — has stopped being a problem." So what will the future look like? Nobody knows. We're going through the same revolutionary upheaval in information that the first printing press brought upon Europe. I just hope that whatever the end result is, House Beautiful - and her sister publications - are still with us.
Images, House Beautiful Magazine.


Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

You have a marvelous blog! I've read a couple of your posts. Very informative and good insight. I love the first image you posted today. Those greens make me swoon!
Such a nice visit.

Tiffany from HOLIDAY said...

I love that you posted just a glimpse and not the entire spread. I love blogs but get frustrated when some repost practically an entire magazine. I feel like they actually ruin it for me. I almost don't want to look at Lonny anymore b/c I feel like I already have everywhere else. I wish everybody else took such a thoughtful approach like you do. Bravo! p.s. I used to work for Kate Spade so I love your header picture - that was always a favorite image of mine.

Samantha said...

I subscribe to HB and also go online to get photos of rooms I liked. So they aren't losing on me, yet.

Dumbwit Tellher said...

I have been a HB subscriber & to most of the others for as long as I can recall. It will be an ever sadder day if & when print magazines no longer grace our bedside tables, our coffee tables, or at the hair salon.

Terrific post & it bears reminding us all where we are headed. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You've made my bloglist - I'd love to keep reading you!
I have a HB Australia subscription and now matter how much I surf I ALWAYS find inspiration and even more so, relaxation, in hard copy. I might be showing my age, but I like to leaf through a mag!

and green, oh how I love this shade -
my friends call it 'Lynda green' I wear it and use it so much.

Anastasia Schembri said...

A sad situation what is going on with print magazines, hopefully we don't lose too many more! There is nothing like curling up with a latest issue of a magazine I really enjoy! On my way to check out Clay Shirkey's article!


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