So Khoi Vihn, over on his blog, Subtraction, has a post about design magazines and how he perceives – and inevitably handles them differently than the beat-up copy of the New Yorker in his bag.
With regard to publications such as Eye and Print:
It’s taken me years of subscribing to these magazines or buying them on newsstands to finally admit to myself that, more often than not, they sit on my desk upon arrival and don’t get read. Whether consciously or subconsciously, I consider them to be objects to be stored and protected from the ravages of reading.
This calls to mind one of my favorite quotes, from the book, The Picture of Dorian Gray:
We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he
does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless
thing is that one admires it intensely.
All art is quite useless.
My advice to Mr. Vihn is to do his best to get over his phobia of using magazines. I’m not saying he needs to go as far as to dog ear the pages, but use them, break them in like a good baseball mitt. Believe it or not, the books and magazines I’ve knocked around a bit tend gain more value to me than the museum pieces I haven’t touched for years.
I feel the same way about electronics. The more you try to keep them scratch-free and perfect, the more upset you’ll be when they get scratches, nicks and dings (I’ve written about this before).