Mike Marotta forwarded these thoughts on numismatic literature, prompted by a recent mailing from the American Numismatic Association.
I renewed my membership in the ANA, beginning my 16th year in the hobby. I was disappointed by two omissions in the survey. Asking about our interests, there was no check box for Literature. So, I added one and checked it. Also, in the query about which member services we use, the Library was omitted. I fixed that, too.
I chose to receive a printed magazine, which now costs $46 versus $28 for the online version. To me, numismatics is a tactile experience. My preference for print is not despite my being the "Internet Connections" columnist for The Numismatist, but because of it. Computerized media are convenient for lexical searches. The high-resolution graphics blow print away. Nonetheless, the presentation of The Numismatist online is clumsy and inconvenient.
I read so much on the computer that I look forward to relaxing with paper. Moreover, if I want ten copies of an article I wrote, my neighborhood printer offers self-serve black and white or color, one-sided or two, collated and stapled, for a fraction of what I pay to run my own laserjet or inkjet, and with much less hassle.
Of course, numismatics is a hobby of specialties and not all can be listed. Any taxonomy is fated to displease some members of every group, by inclusion, exclusion or marginalization. By definition, no aspect can be central. Every facet of our hobby is truly a window to the core of numismatics. But if not for literature, the artifacts are reduced to mere curios, machine-made peacock feathers: pretty, but not human history.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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