I was talking to a friend today and he brought up something he read in Linn’s Stamp News and that brought back a lot of memories. See, I used to subscribe for years and years and years to Linn’s, back when it was a weekly full-size newspaper and I actually gave a damn about modern stamp issues. I still have a couple of boxes out in the garage filled with back issues. I used to love going over the pages every single week, but that was before the dark times, before the Internet, which largely killed it, and the enjoyment I got from it.
Oh sure, Linn’s is still around but it’s gone from a large newspaper-sized publication to a rather thin weekly magazine-format and, since I no longer collect modern issues, there’s not a lot in it for me to care about. I think that Linn’s was doomed by the same thing that doomed most newspapers, the widespread acceptance of the Internet, where you can get news and information for free almost immediately. Why bother reading a newspaper when, by the time you get it, everything is outdated? There is very little in Linn’s that I couldn’t get, for free, online, long before it ever comes out in print. On those rare occasions that I go into the local stamp shop, they always have Linn’s available for sale, I’ll sometimes take a look at it but I haven’t actually bought one in close to a decade because, as I said, I don’t need to. The same is true of all of the magazines that I once subscribed to. There’s no need. It’s all online for free. It’s why I haven’t taken a newspaper in more than 20 years now. I don’t need it.
And some small part of that makes me sad because I used to really look forward to getting the newest issue and pouring over it. There was something about turning the pages to find something new that I didn’t know that was fun, but I realized, as time went on, that the vast majority of things in every issue, I didn’t really care about, just like the majority of things in the daily newspaper. It didn’t make a bit of difference to me and much of it eventually went unread as I had less and less time to spend on it. For newspapers, we realized that the overwhelming majority of them, weeks at a time, were getting dumped in the recycling bin unopened, that’s when we cancelled our subscription and I think that’s what happened to Linn’s as well. Not enough time and too much extraneous information for our collecting interests.
So as much as I have fond memories of reading Linn’s, I suppose I’m not all that sorry I don’t read it any longer. Hopefully, someday soon, all newspapers will go away and immediate online news will be the rule for all. I’ve gotten rid of my paper woodworking magazines, the action figure magazines I used to read went out of business and stamp newspapers have become even more niche and even more useless to me. The world marches on, even if we remember things fondly from the past.