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5. Internet Information Overload - Don't get me wrong, the ability to know about the latest and greatest car being introduced by my favorite manufacturer can be intoxicating. I love the internet news sites for their ability to instantly show me the latest sexy car reveal from the Geneva Auto Show. But I don't need instant gratification all the time and sometimes that information can be too much! Why do I need to know every snippet of automotive news all the time? Why do I need an RSS feed aggregator just to organize all of the articles? Sometimes I just want to know the most important news, the best news, the most thoughtful news. I want to know that someone funneled through all of the noise for me and distilled it down to only the most engaging and interesting stories. Sometimes I don't want to have to be the news editor, print magazines do that for me.
4. Nostalgia - I remember the first issue of Car and Driver that I ever received, it had a story about the Ferrari F40 and it was the most incredible thing I had ever read. I can still recall scrutinizing the prose, absorbing the technical specs, memorizing the test numbers to share with my friends and instantly being hooked on car magazines.
3. Letters to the Editor - Car Magazines still feature letters to the editor, those silly responses that people write about how they are going to cancel their subscription if another Mustang shows up on the cover of Motor Trend. If you are thinking that the internet offers the same thing via reader comments, then you are partially correct. Letters to the editor are selected to be featured in a magazine based on their humor, wit or their quality of writing. Take a look at the comments section of a popular post on your favorite blog again, I think you will understand the difference.
2. That new magazine smell - It's not just the smell of the pages of a magazine, but the tactile feel of holding a physical document, the ability to flip the pages, the way you can save them in a bookshelf or pile them up in the bathroom (perhaps to my wife's chagrin). There is a satisfaction that comes from reading a magazine from cover to cover, a satisfaction that is not possible from the online experience.
1. The dream - Even though all the automotive information is available online sooner and for free, I still keep my magazine subscriptions. When I was a child and I read that first article about the Ferrari F40, it sparked something in my imagination. I dreamt that one day I would write for those car magazines, that I would be that editor road testing the red Ferrari. I dreamt that I would be the one helping design the layout of the article, selecting the photos and putting the stories together for future generations of children to find. I did not grow up to be an automotive journalist, but the dream is still there, that is why I am here blogging today (ironically) and why I still subscribe to the automotive magazines.