The Return of Print? Perhaps

Print promotes concentration and allows for an immersive experience.

Print promotes concentration and allows for an immersive experience.

I’m a print guy.

Oh, I love the Internet, have a blog, enjoy Facebook, know how to tweet and read the New York Times on my smartphone. But I still love books, real books. And I still love print newspapers and read two a day and the Times in print every Sunday.

So I was thrilled to see a terrific column by Colin W. Sargent, editor and publisher of Portland Magazine this month extolling the many virtues of print.

I subscribe to Portland Magazine and eagerly await its arrival every month. I fell in love with Maine two years ago during a birthday trip to the state and especially enjoyed spending time in Portland, a great, walkable little city with amazing restaurants, a vibrant art scene, live music, festivals and a picturesque waterfront.

This month, Sargent wrote about the many benefits of print, citing research done by cognitive literature scholar Susanne Reichl of the University of Vienna who says when we read we actually lose ourselves while reading books, magazines and print newspapers. Good writing transports us and in a world full of noise, our minds can use the escape.

Sargent writes that when he reads he gets swept up in the stories and descriptions and that he becomes more “fully human” and that’s why we will always have a need for print material because the digital experience is just not quite the same thing.

“Pop-ups, streaming, email alerts and other interruptions can’t help but prevent us from reaching deepest into the reading experience,” he writes. “The internet may be irreplaceable, but so is real reading with a real book or magazine.”

Naomi Baron who has studied the difference between online reading and reading print materials says her research clearly shows that readers pay more attention and retain more information when reading print.

Students multi-task three times as much when reading online than when they read hard copy and therefore don’t connect emotionally to digital material, she says.

Sargent’s prediction: a print comeback is coming soon to give us relief from the cacophony of the internet.

His advice: “buy all the print newspapers you can right now, because they are on the eve of a renaissance.”

Well, we did. (shamless plug: Delray Newspaper, Boca Newspaper) So I sure hope he’s right.

No less a sage than Warren Buffett is also bullish on local newspapers and magazines. He doesn’t believe in regional papers, but small papers that serve their markets well have some life left in them, says the Oracle of Omaha.

So maybe our desire to connect emotionally with the written word; our need to concentrate and move away from the screen (for just a little while) and our need to avoid pop-ups, texts and email notifications will give newspapers, books (I wrote one of those too) and magazines (go Atlantic Ave) a bright future.

I sure hope so.

 

 

 

Back from Vacation: Random Thoughts From the Road

Charming, vibrant and walkable.

Charming, vibrant and walkable.

We’re back!

Thanks for indulging us during a vacation and the Labor Day holiday. We hope you had a great few weeks. We missed you.

Random thoughts…

We had a chance to visit Maine last week (Dave went to college at Bowdoin) and came away suitably impressed.

The coastline is gorgeous, the lobster and chowder is ubiquitous and the people are New England friendly.

We hit Portland, Boothbay Harbor, Rockland and Camden and got out on the waters of Casco Bay.

When you’re a recovering journalist, the first things you seek out in a new town are local publications. Newspapers and websites can give you a flavor for a place (much like we hope YourDelrayBoca.com does for our hometowns) and also give you some ideas for restaurants, day trips and shopping excursions. It’s always fun to see the issues that other communities are debating and read about local businesses, artists and people.

When we grabbed a copy of Portland Magazine and opened the page to the editor’s notes we were pleased and surprised to see a picture of Delray’s historic Colony Hotel and a column about how dishes and glassware from Delray often winds up at a sister hotel also called the Colony in Kennebunkport. The article talked a lot about Del Ray (spelled that way, with the space) and described us in kind terms. Colony owner Jestena Boughton would have been proud. We clipped the piece and will send it to her.

We also read a local alternative paper called The Bollard and read about Delray’s Ocean Properties in one of the stories. Ocean Properties, owner of the Delray Marriott and bunches of other hotels, is also a major player in Maine and New Hampshire. It’s indeed a small world and Delray’s tentacles extend Downeast as well.

Another great way to get a feel for a new locale is to walk the city’s streets, not just the main drag but the nooks and crannies. Portland is a great city for doing just such a thing, with cobblestone alleyways, charming old brick buildings and beautiful Victorian homes mixed in with newer development.

Armed with advice from some friends, we tried to avoid the touristy places and sought out local hang outs and live music.

Portland, like Delray, is a vibrant and walkable town. We highly recommend a visit.

 All Hail Barbecue

We were pleased to come back to learn that our friend Scott Kennedy of Union Delray fame, was transforming his popular place into a world class BBQ restaurant he’s calling Smoke.

Pitmaster Bryan Terrell has been hired and he comes with incredible credentials. Terrell hails from Kansas City where he was the original smokehouse manager of the world famous Oklahoma Joe’s.

Anthony Bourdain named that place “one of the 13 places to eat before you die”.

Terrell has also achieved success in the world series of bbq. Now he’s coming to 8 East Atlantic Avenue.

Atlantic’s dining scene can use great barbecue. Smoke is set to debut this month. Stay tuned.

 Food Scene Adds Player

Trader Joe’s opened in Delray last Friday and it’s a welcome addition to the local grocery scene.

As we’ve remarked before, competition is a good thing and with Whole Foods, Publix, Trader Joe’s, Winn Dixie, Wal Mart Neighborhood Grocery, The Boy’s and Fresh Market competing in Boca/Delray we expect to see high quality stores vying for local market share.

P.S. We can still use a public market.

 

Speaking of food…

Finally had a chance to have lunch at The Farmer’s Table in Boca.

This is a must see establishment with a wide array of healthy and natural food choices.

A shout out to FAU’s Kim Gramm of the Tech Runway for ensuring we went there.