All the better to see you with, my dear

I love the printed word. Ink on paper. The touch, the smell, the heft, the huggability. That’s why I’m in the publishing business. This has been true for—full disclosure—seven decades. That’s how long I’ve been in love with the printed word.

Something started happening about five years ago, though: I started losing my vision. I have what’s called wet macular degeneration, which starts with making the world look like a circus fun house (extremely distorted), then gets darker and darker. I am lucky beyond words in that wonderful treatments have been developed for this, so I can still drive, can read words on paper when I have to, sometimes with magnifying glass in hand. But where I once consumed print books and magazines at a frenzied pace, I now consume them on a digital reader. What makes all the difference is the back lighting and the adjustable type. Oh my, I am filled with gratitude every day of the week that this new technology came along exactly when I began to need it.

Q: Can you tell which Piecework is digital, which is print? A: Ha ha. They are both digital, silly – you are looking at them on your computer.

There are other advantages: no more bales of newspapers to put into the recycling bin every week, reminding me of the trees that gave up their lives for me. No more teetering stacks of books on my bedside table (and the floor beside it). No more heaps of magazines that I will someday finish reading (or not). They are all right there in my little hand-held magic device. I think that even if I were as sharp-eyed as I once was, I might be embracing this new format.

So what’s my point? Well, you can get PieceWork (and other Interweave magazines) now for your computer, iPad, Kindle, Nook, whatever. It comes as if by magic, down from the cloud or through the ether or however that happens. The photographs look better than they do on paper, I’m sad to say. Someday, I’m told, all of our print content will be delivered this way. Alas for you if you don’t have a screen to view them on! Oh brave new world, how beauteous . . . .