As many of you probably know–and, if you live in the United States, you definitely know–when PROG hits the newsstands in the U.S., it is always two full issues behind what is being released in PROG’s home, the U.K. Barnes and Nobles carries them as does Hastings. Booksamillion might, too. I’m not sure. Hastings, I’ve noticed, gets them a little faster than does B&N.
Regardless, they’re slow in crossing the Atlantic and appearing on our magazine shelves. In large part, this is simply because the U.S. does not possess the magazine reading culture that the U.K. does. Not a great comment on the U.S., but true, nonetheless. Things such as Soap Opera Digest and Us that one finds at grocery store checkouts sell very well, while magazines and journals dealing with news, foreign policy, science fiction, music (except for Rolling Stone), or anything else that is basically not too ephemeral sell poorly. Such is life.
Editor Jerry Ewing has worked extremely hard–as he does on all things–to make PROG more accessible here in the States. And, the iPad app created by Jerry and Teamrock is truly a thing of beauty. I eagerly download my new copy of PROG the moment it hits the newsstands in the U.K.
Just this week, however, a Facebook friend very kindly–though, he’s probably sick of me whining about not getting PROG quickly enough in the U.S.–sent me a copy of PROG 52. It features Rush, so this was a double blessing and gift for me. Indeed, I’m thrilled. On FB, my generous English friend uses the the latinized version of his name, and I don’t want to take advantage of his privacy. Still, it was a wonderful gift on his part. Mark, I thank you profoundly.
Within a half hour of receiving and delving into the actual tangible issue, PROG hooked me. The iPad app is a beautiful thing, and I do read it fully. But, there is nothing akin to holding the actual issue in my hand. The size, the quality of paper, the always excellent writing, and rather eye popping graphics of the real, tangible deal are just so much better than anything the iPad can show.
Even more than than the joy of a book being actually held, the magazine–with its spectacular mix of image and word–is a very, very (very!) nice thing. So, I splurged–purchased a print subscription within a half hour of Mark’s gift arriving in the mail.
Thank you, Mark. Thank you, Jerry. I’m sold.