I’m a Sucker for Print Magazines

macworld-magazineI’m a digital guy. I’m part of the digital generation that grew up with computers and cell phones. Technology is my friend! When I want to read the news, I get it online. When I need to write something down, I whip out my iPhone and jot down whatever comes to mind in my Notes app. (Or, since I got my iPhone 5, I just tell Siri to write down my notes for me!) When I want to talk to someone, I email or text them. When I want to set an appointment in the future, I open up iCal and book it in my electronic calendar on my iPhone or Mac. I have never subscribed to any newspaper, I never used the Yellow Pages, and the number of books I’ve purchased is probably fewer than 20.

Just about every aspect of my life is digital in every way, except, as I realized earlier this week, for one singular exception: I like magazines. Print magazines. A lot.

I had an epiphany about this earlier this week. As I was analyzing my life, (as most people do around New Years’ Day), I thought about my New Years resolutions, and resolved to start reading more. I already read industry blogs, email newsletters, twitter feeds, Facebook walls, and things like that… online, but I really struggle with reading books. They’re such a time commitment. Nonetheless, I made a decision to start reading more books. Hard copy, physical, printed books. But as I did so, I realized that I actually do read quite a bit or print material—only in the form of magazines, not books.

It’s true: apparently, I’m a sucker for the old-fashioned, paper version that comes in the US mail. And even though some of the magazines I subscribe to also have electronic versions that I can get for a slightly higher subscription cost, or even free… I never sign up for them. I have a free electronic subscription to Wired via my iPad, where I can view every back issue published since I became a subscriber, but I have never read an issue this way.

Instead, when I get a magazine in the mail, I’ll save it for the weekend when I have time, and I’ll sit on the couch with a glass of wine, and read it cover-to-cover, in one sitting. I’ll even bring a pen with me to circle things, or write down notes about products I like, and I often dog-ear the pages that have something I find really interesting. Why? I don’t know… I’ll probably never come back to that page again, but if it’s interesting, I’m gonna fold that corner back.

When I read, I don’t just “skim” the information like my generation is supposed to—I read every single word, on every single page. Here’s a list of some of the magazines I’ve subscribed to for a few years:

  • MacWorld (this is my all-time favorite—it’s all Mac, all the time)
  • CIO (a magazine about and for Chief Information Officers: probably my second favorite)
  • Fast Company (this is all about new and fast-growing businesses)
  • Wired (one of the oldest and most well-known magazines about science and technology)
  • Inc (awesome magazine about and for small businesses)
  • PC World (just like MacWorld, but for PCs)

These are my mainstays. Ironic, that most of them are printed copies of articles about technology? …perhaps. But I like ’em. I read each issue, and often save the copies I have for years, until they start stacking up into huge piles in my office until I just can’t keep them anymore and I recycle them, usually with a slight feeling of sadness as they go.

So what about you? Which magazines do you like best, and do you find the print or digital versions more compelling? Why?

7 thoughts on “I’m a Sucker for Print Magazines”

  1. This was music to my ears, if you don’t mind me mixing my media. It’s no crime to like both worlds. They have different upsides and downsides.

    • Nice, Ken! There seems to be a sharp divide between the two mediums (media?) where there need not be. i.e. Book lovers decry the advent of the eBook and digital media as something that “destroys” publishing and has no soul, which people my age poke fun at print media as obsolete and outdated. I agree with you—there’s room for both.

  2. Interesting how you said you probably would never go back to it, but you still mark it. I think you enjoy the ritual which is the relaxing enjoyable part. With such a great family I am not sure how you have time to read 🙂

    • I know–funny habit, eh? Thanks for the comments, Ray! I try to make time for lots of things, but it is indeed difficult to balance that with all my kiddos. Maybe someday I’ll figure out the magic solution. Until that point, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing: getting up early, going to bed way too late and never getting any sleep.

  3. Another vote for Fast Company and Inc. I find the Wired.com content is just as enjoyable on the web, and don’t tend to read the print version. I suppose I like the business focus on Fast Company and Inc. better in print? Other print magazines I enjoy are Boating Magazine, Esquire, and Psychology Today.


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