Print: Helping Memories Survive
When I was growing up, I would peruse the local newspaper and magazines looking for snippets of inspiration — athletes, fashion, quotes, etc… And when I came across something that made me pause or think a little deeper I would cut it out. Sometimes these finds would adorn my favorite school binder or be taped to the side of a shelf in my bedroom — until I came across the next square of paper that fueled my dreams. But every once in a while I would stumble upon something that I would save. Instead of throwing it in the trash when I grew bored of it, I would safely tuck it away in a box for a “rainy day”.
Just the other day when I was making the important decisions of whether to keep or toss items in my cabinet I came across a box I stowed away. Amongst the contents was an old Sports Illustrated from the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, clippings from my hometown newspaper, and ticket stubs to a high performance track and field meet in Reno. As I held these items in my hand I could feel the memories built from these events coming to life. And as noticed the frailness of the paper and the yellowing of the corners, I was able to reflect on how these events helped shape who I am today.
I love this about paper and tangible items. Print gives you the ability to physically hold something that was created years or even decades earlier. It can take you back to places in a way that digital products can not. It gives you the ability to sit in your favorite nook, in the home you built, and rifle through a shoebox of treasures on a rainy day. With print lies the possibility of finding something you saved, hidden in a book, when you least expect it. This makes print powerful. Printed stories and images have a greater chance of surviving the world where digital content is constantly being created and discarded every second.
Although my interests have changed over time, I still clip and save pieces from magazines just like I did many years ago and I still cherish postcards sent to me from from family and friends while on vacation. As much as I love the convenience of the digital age and admit that there are aspects of it that are an integral part of my life, nothing can replace curling up on the couch while holding a book in one hand and a latte in the other.