Reading and Holding On

In celebration of having a home to call my own once again, I subscribed to a handful of magazines. I was sad to see half of my regular magazines are no longer published, since my subscriptions ran out in 2011. ReadyMade and Budget Travel – You will be missed.

I highly recommend subscribing to magazines through Amazon. It makes it incredibly easy to keep track of where in your subscription you are, reordering, changing address and viewing your subscription history. It’s also completely transparent when you will be receiving your magazine.

To view your magazine subscriptions in Amazon,
1. Log into your account.
2. Under “Orders”, look to the second column, “More Order Actions”, and select “Manage Magazine Subscriptions”.

I renewed my subscriptions to Time Out New York, Nylon and Harper’s Bazaar. I also added Elle Decor, Town & Country and Better Homes and Gardens, which I find myself buying frequently in airports and bodegas.

A few months ago, I also subscribed to the International Herald Tribune. A newspaper subscription in the year 2012 — on my Kindle Fire.

Digital magazine publishing is still many years away from even tempting me to quit buying the physical editions. I want to rip pages out and save them. A few, I want to keep on my shelf in their entirety to go back and reference. I want to take them with me, pick up in the middle, and browse backwards, if I please.

The major publishers have vendors who digitalize their entire catalog, and possibly even handle distribution, and there is a lot lost in this transaction. It feels like a obligation for the publishers to acknowledge the digital demand when they do not treat it with the same approach that they would laying out their pages. It is likely their intent while they sort out how to adapt their business model to these emerging formats.

Newspapers are a much shorter lived printed medium. Most come out daily. You rarely need to pick up an issue from more than a couple days ago. They pile up quickly. They’re quite flat in their black and white formats so there isn’t a noticeable difference in the experience of reading a newspaper on a tablet or computer, in comparison with it’s original printed form. In fact, it’s often better.

Digital devices allow users to customize their views, typefaces, and font size to their favor. They can view the newspaper on a myriad of devices without having to carry it from one place to another. Not to say there aren’t occasions when you may want to save something from that newspaper. Technology-wise, it is much easier to implement this functionality for a newspaper than for a magazine because of their very simple format.

Books? I’m a biased judge. They’re forever sacred to me. The only books I have on my Kindle are those available for free on Amazon. I don’t know if that will ever change.