This week's Booking through Thursday question: So other than books … what periodicals do you read? Magazines? Newspapers? Newsletters? Journals? Do you subscribe? Or do you buy them on the newsstand when they look interesting?
Funny BTT should ask! I've been a magazine reader most of my life, and for the past few months I've been trying to find one to subscribe to. Currently I read a couple of magazines available to me through others -- Reminiscence magazine, which is essentially a nostalgia trap for people with silver hair, and The Economist, which is published in Britain and reliably refers to itself as a newspaper despite being a remarkable magazine -- a thick weekly issue dense with text, advertising being marginal. How they manage to produce such a thing in this age of anorexic glossies taken over by pictures, I have no idea. I also read two local papers, subscribing to one and buying the other two or three times a week. The Montgomery Advertiser is thicker, but I prefer The Selma Times-Journal, since it's my hometown newspaper and the content is generally more relevant. (A fair bit of the Advertiser is sports or pages also printed in USA Today, so its thickness isn't that material.)
I'd like to subscribe to the kinds of magazines which no longer exist, those substantial volumes of yesteryear that offered short stories and professionally-written articles to a broad audience , those volumes whose role as entertainer and educator has been lost to television and the Internet. A few do still exist, but since there aren't any bookshops in my hometown I'm forced to rely chiefly on recommendations I receive online in considering which one I should try first. Ideally I'd like something serious-minded, with relevant news and insightful commentary, but one which also includes something like short stories. I'm whittled it down to two choices: Harper's or The Atlantic. Both are old, reputable, and varied in content. I'm leaning most toward The Atlantic because it has a sister spin-off about urbanism. In time, I anticipate trying both these two and The New Yorker.
Also, back in May I discovered that the closest (~40 miles) Books a Million carries small versions of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, ANALOG Science Fiction and Fact, and a few others that were on my possible subscriptions list. I bought the latest of EQMM and Analog, but I haven't finished them yet, mostly because I never Sit Down and Read Them. I tend to pick them up and read a portion of one from time to time.
And of course, I do buy single issues of other magazines when I'm near a newsstand and the covers catch my eye. This is more the case with science magazines and out-of-town newspapers. I also get a quarterly journal, The Historian, available to members of Phi Alpha Theta, which collects history articles. I tend to read only the book reviews.