Editorial: There’s no going back
When I was 11, I went on a school trip to Guernsey by plane. During the flight, a stewardess took orders for teas and coffees, and I asked for coffee. She came round with the tea first, teapot in one hand, milk jug in the other. She poured milk into my cup and was about to add the tea when I reminded her I was having coffee.
As she continued on her round, I started to worry. She would come back with the coffee, forget that I already had milk and give me double. So I gulped down the milk and waited. She returned with the coffee and, having already poured my milk, she just poured the coffee and went on her way. I suppose a more worldly-wise 11 year old might have taken the bull by the horns and asked the nice lady for some more milk, but that’s not how the story goes. Instead, I steeled myself to drink the black coffee.
It was delicious. It was a revelation. It was the best cup of coffee I’d ever had. There was no going back. I was a black coffee drinker and, 20,000 cups later, I still am. Well done, painfully unassuming 11 year old.
Thirty years on, I had a similar experience with sourdough toast. I always assumed that, apart from finding the right setting on your toaster, there was nothing you could do to improve toast. Then I ordered some in the Deptford cafe I used to write in, and bang! My tastebuds had the same lightbulb moment. These days we buy a sourdough loaf every weekend in my house and it rarely lasts till Monday. There’s no going back.
When we launched the digital edition of Reform with its app in April 2015, we were warned that a lot of people who buy digital magazines don’t stick with them. They try it, the novelty wears off, they go away. That being the case, it seems gratifying that the number of subscribers to digital Reform has risen almost relentlessly since its launch. In the last six months, it rose 39%. The number is still small compared to those who buy the print magazine, but people who try it stay with it. There’s no going back.
Why, you ask. Because it’s so good, dummy.
It looks great on the screen, it’s handy to get around, you can search for particular words and it comes with four years (so far) of back issues. There is bonus media such as image galleries on the news pages and, this month, video of a Chinese church being destroyed. There are live links for further information. All this, and it’s more than £10 cheaper than a print subscription.
You can buy digital Reform, for yourself or someone more up-to-date, through the contact details down there underneath my name. Try it. There’s no going back.
Stephen Tomkins is Editor of Reform
This article was published in the March 2018 edition of Reform