In this Digital Age, there are still many of us who prefer to hold printed matter in our hands rather than reading it online.  Which is better?  For me, the crochet book or magazine is MUCH better than anything I’ve seen online.

Most crochet magazines offer digital subscriptions which are advertised as having more pages than the print version.  Those extra pages are not available to print subscribers.  While I know that it costs more to print out and mail the magazine to subscribers than it does to post the patterns and articles online, I feel that long time print subscribers are unfairly penalized for their years of loyalty to these periodicals.

Several of my friends and I were talking about this very thing recently.  Soon children will never experience print books.  And, you can’t miss that which you haven’t experienced, right?  I think that will be a sad day.  And, no, Nook and similar devices are not adequate substitutes for print and paper.  While the immediacy of downloads and the portability of devices such as the Nook add a level of facility that we have not previously experienced, especially in the Arts and Crafts, I believe that we’ll be losing far more in the long run if we don’t have printed books and magazines.

Even for my children who were raised with a genuine love of books and daily reading of the newspaper, these things are less important to them than to my husband and me.  None of my children subscribes to a daily newspaper.  My husband and I look forward to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in our hands every morning.  Maybe we are ‘dinosaurs’ but we pay the freight while the kids get their news for free – if you don’t count the cost of the computer/Nook/TV/highspeed internet connection.

Nook and Kindle

Now, here’s the paradox.  You’re reading this blog on the internet on your computer!  I LOVE surfing the ‘net and reading lots of blogs!  I love scouting out new crochet patterns online and gaining inspiration from the online writings of others.  I love having crochet information just a few clicks away.

But when it comes to sheer enjoyment of crochet patterns, it’s a book or magazine for me.  I want the color pattern on the sofa next to me as I crochet.  I want to flip to the page of stitch definitions.  I want to pick up one of my many crochet books and magazines and browse through the pages til I find a pattern that will work with the yarn I have on hand.  Nothing beats that!


  1. GJ Amber says

    Wow! You hit the nail on the head! I love my Kindle, but there are certain books I want in my hand, and crochet books are definitely one of those.

  2. says

    I love crochet books, though I wish more of them had a spiral binding so they’d STAY OPEN while I’m working a row!
    I suppose I’m in that half-generation in between, where I’m still a bibliophile and love my stack of crochet books, but I’d love to get a Nook so I have access to my Ravelry patterns.
    The other pro of a digital copy of the pattern is that, if there is a problem with it, people will have commented with how to fix it. Online patterns are more about community in my mind.

  3. Kymberly says

    I’m definitely that younger generation that loves technology and has whole heartedly embraced my nook. I live in a very rural part of the country and have very little access to book stores (craft stores are even rarer) and stay connected to the outside world through technology like the internet and my nook. I love having crochet patterns on my nook since I can have it sitting next to me on the couch and don’t have to worry about it flipping closed. I also love not having to worry about losing my pattern (something that’s happened to me with paper patterns) and not having to store a pattern book when I’m finished with my project.

  4. Essie says

    I also love the printed books. But having said that, I get crochet and knitting magazines through the internet. Why? Because I live in Australia and often cannot get them here at all. Or if we can get them, they are so expensive that I cannot afford to buy them because I am on a Pension. Would love to have oodles of money to buy all those gorgeous pattern books, because I do enjoy looking through the ones that I do have on hand.

  5. Noveline says

    I love all craft books. Yes they can be costly, take up space and do tend to get misplaced or worse yet lost..But they are tangible and beautiful to just have waiting for you on your nightstand to gaze at just before you plop your head on your pillow and off to dreamland..With all the vivid pictures of colorful fabric, yarn, buttons and patterns filling every space in your crafty brain it is no wonder you can’t get a wink of sleep..In other words inspiration springs from the pages of many publications and for some of us the computer just doesn’t do it..We need to see, touch and gaze upon printed matter without a screen glossy over our view..and when I leave this world I hope my hundreds of magazines, books and huge collections of craft patterns go to someone who like me appreciates “tangible” “inspirational” magazines and books..

  6. Mary Miller says

    Hi, I get Crochet World on-line and I love it! I don’t have a kindle, but I do take my laptop with me many places, and the next best thing to that is my digital camera. I pull up the instructions line by line and save, then download onto my card. I have each pattern line at a glance and can keep track of where I am easily, hugs, Mary

  7. lee ann beausejour says

    I love feeling the book in hand. I love being able to go back 10 years and pull out the pattern and revising it for now. (not losing it after 2years!) JD I will be in your part of wood between 8/15-19. A short visit. Maybe get together one evening? Not the 19th-daughter has taken entire day off. Fix it with Ronnie, OK?

  8. Cathy says

    I’m with you. Give me paper for patterns. (Not that I haven’t downloaded more than a few . . . but I print them when I’m actually going to work on them.) I’m sure it’s partly an age thing. I’m very comfortable with technology, but for a pattern, or, for that matter, a novel to curl up in bed with, it’s paper all the way.

  9. Judy says

    I love looking at “real” hobby books, crocheting, quilting, and crafts.

    Reading a storybook is so easy on the ereader as I go from appointment to appointment and download from the library for free as I am on SS.

    As I am aging and also disabled, I have really had to downsize. So I made an agreement with myself two years ago, no more hard copies as I do not have the room or the ability to keep up with the cleaning.

    I allow myself one mag sub per year online. I save my pattern choices from each addition to the hard drive and a medica stick for back up. When I am ready to work the pattern, I do print out the pages so I can write on them, or highlight.

    So I am definately on the fence with this one.

  10. Patti Fisher says

    It is sad that are grandchildren will not know what books are, but they also won’t be able to write their own names in cursive! Many schools are wanting to drop the art of handwriting in lieu of keyboarding (which most elementary children already know).
    They need the extra time for teaching more important things. Maybe that will move the US up to 16th instead of 17th in the worlds education standings! Sorry if that sounds mean, apparently the heat is frying my brain, but really, isn’t that sad!

  11. Yvonne says

    I love books!!!! I have shelves and boxes and cupboards full of books. I have a 5 foot long 3 shelf high full of pattern books, knitting, crocheting, plastic canvas needlepoint and other needle crafts. I have been given patterns that are dated in the 40’s. I love them!
    But….I also love digital. I can download so many more patterns and I don’t have to worry about storage.
    When I am working on a project, I now download the pattern to my phone. I always have the pattern with me. But sometimes, I still have to carry the paper pattern or book with me because I don’t have a digital copy.
    So I guess I like both!!!
    in Las Vegas

  12. melanie says

    I love both, sometimes it depends on the book. It doesn’t have to be either or! Same thing with color vs b/w photography, digital vs film photography, etc. Each one has different qualities that can be appreciated on its own for different reasons by different people.

  13. says

    I love both. My Kindle DX goes on all my trips but when I am reading at night at home, I usually pick up a “real” book. Print will never go away, at least not for a long, long time. Not all publishers are putting their books on E format so some of my favorites are only in paper. Harry Potter, Mary Stewart and several others are book only.

  14. C Dabis says

    Wait a minute. When I want a printed copy of a magazine, I print it on my printer. However, more often than not, I print one specific pattern from the digital magazine.

    Remember, paper grows on trees, and everyone wants to save the trees.

  15. says

    While I do enjoy looking at all the pretty pictures on Ravelry and a host of yarn brand websites, I have a real preference for a REAL book or magazine.

    I NEED to touch the paper. *chuckle*

    And it really is better for our eyes I guess.

  16. Adela says

    Given full choice? Physical paper in my hands, m eyes are more at ease with that.

    Howeeeeever, I usually wind up with both. I NEED the physical book or magazine. However I also tend to be in and out of hospitals or doctors offices and i cant well carry mmy entire library. So i just make PDF files using my camera which takes very good, HD pics which after transferring to my computer I use acrobat to compile a PDF. and that in turn can be converted to a mobi or azw file if i want it on my kindle. Or since online subscriptions DO offer extras, I just use nice paper, print the whole magazine (the parts with the relevant info not ads) and sort of make my own booklet.


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