Do you still read magazines the old fashioned way?


I’m weird. Yeah, yeah, I can just hear everyone thinking out loud “Well duh! So what else is new Julie?!”… :o) So, here’s the thing. I don’t think I’ll ever read another physical book. Ever. There, I said it. I wholeheartedly prefer eBooks for a couple of very important reasons…

1. I can carry a bunch of books with me on one small device that fits in my pocket.
2. Reading on a phone or PDA is so much easier for me because these devices have a backlight and my eyes are crap.

And really, those are the only reasons why I prefer an eBook over an actual paperback book. But here is where the weirdness comes in to play… While I read all my books electronically, I don’t read my magazines electronically. I prefer to hold and flip pages on a physical magazine. What’s up with that?

I have this whole weekend ritual where I wake up, make tea, make steel cut oats cereal, and sit on the couch flipping through any new magazines that may have arrived during the week. When I see something in a magazine that I want to save for later reference, I just tear out the pages and then toss the magazine in the trash. I do save some magazines like Make and Craft though, but those are exceptions because they are more like little books. But for the most part, I flip, read, rip and chuck.

Lately I’ve been reflecting on just how much trash I create. It makes me feel guilty every time I dump my trash bags at the landfill every weekend, so I’ve been trying to find ways to reduce it. I do recycle, but I wonder just how many resources we’re all really saving by doing that. My first step in reducing my own personal trash output is to not renew any more physical magazine subscriptions, and to switch over (when possible) to electronic subscriptions. When it comes to books, I can pretty well find anything I need online. Electronic magazine availability is definitely lagging behind in that respect. I have found that the Zinio reader has a nice selection of magazines and a Mac client, so I may give that a try. The only problem is that their prices seem expensive. For example, let’s look at MacWorld magazine. While the Zinio yearly subscription rate seems to be on par with the printed version (12 issues for $19.97), for a single issue of this magazine they are charging $6.99. That seems really high. I don’t have an issue to do a price check. You would think that magazines would be considerably cheaper than their printed counterparts. After all, there is no ink, paper, or postage in involved with mailing them to subscribers.

Maybe I’ll just give up on magazines altogether. Hmmmmm….

My question to all of you is… Do you still read magazines the old fashioned way?

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Rob O'Daniel March 27, 2008, 10:20 pm

    I guess I’m kinduva relic – I still do like paper-based publications. Sometimes, there’s something to be said for the analog act of reading a book or a magazine – even if it’s topic is something digital.

    And for me, reading content off of paper is easier on my eyes than reading from a screen – especially at nighttime.

  • Alan B. March 28, 2008, 6:32 am

    Well I still read books and magazines that are paper based. I used the Kindle for a few weeks but found that the books I seemed to want were always $15 or more and I read at least 2-3 books per week, so I sent it back. I have books loaded on my Palm TX and read on it when I travel.

    [Edited at March 28, 2008 06:33:38 AM.]

  • Hai March 28, 2008, 8:49 pm

    I even print out documents at work, which freaks out my coworker/mentor for “killing trees.” But that is just me: I like reading from paper much better than on screen. However, I do read from screen: it is nicer to search on screen than on paper.

  • M. Firdaus Ariff March 28, 2008, 10:17 pm

    I still read physical magazines such as Popular Science & National Geographic – these I consider worth keeping and the content stays relevant. It serves as great references as well.

    As for tech magazines, I didn’t buy them anymore. Just read from the internet because the content of the magazines will be obsolete when it hit the newsstand.

    Comics & Manga? Definitely printed ones! 🙂

  • Jacqueline March 29, 2008, 10:51 am

    I receive mag subscriptions (ESPN, New York, Blender) but other then that, I mainly read mags on my computer. I have Zinio e-subscription service on my laptop as well, and all of my subscriptions are at a reduced rate.

    Like others, I mostly like to read on my mobile devices as it’s more convenient. Newsreaders, Avanto Go and the like are popular.

  • nukediver March 31, 2008, 7:18 am

    I still subscribe to a few magazines, and usually save them for reference (Popular Photography, for instance), but the majority of the time I read magazine content online. As for books, there is nothing more pleasurable for me than to curl up on the couch with a real book. Besides, being a perpetual grad student, I still HAVE to read books, mark them up, etc. And I wouldn’t want to think about taking a Kindle to the beach unless it was in a couple of Ziploc bags; paper is just less of a worry, and far easier on my 46 year old eyes.

  • pdradley March 31, 2008, 10:13 am

    I simply don’t understand people who state that they read only in e-form. So much of what I want to read is not available in e-form, and I am not about to let e-availability determine what I read. So, yes, I read both in e-form (if I can, on my Kindle) and on paper. At present, there is for me no other way.

    [Edited at April 02, 2008 10:07:44 AM.]

  • Dan Nakagawa March 31, 2008, 3:42 pm

    See, I always thought that tablet pc’s would catch on as book/magazine replacements—as a comic book fan, I thought it would be great to have a tablet PC and read JPG pages of comic books/magazines the same way people do with txt files on ebooks (I have a fictionwise ebook that I use all the time for reading ebooks)

  • Mark Adkins March 31, 2008, 8:25 pm

    e-format whenever possible. I would whack out of I lost the ability to do most of my casual reading on my Palm Tx, and we have been cutting off our magazines one by one.

    Instead of paper subscriptions, we have been using the library, Internet, various forms of podcasts, etc.

    It would be nice if more of the magazines did e-versions- magazines must account for huge volumes of trash and chemicals in the inks every year.

  • Steve Howard March 31, 2008, 11:30 pm

    Electronic all the way! I’m reading/commenting now using my pda.

    I’ve been reading ebooks since my first pda 5 years ago, and get through, i guess, 1 -3 e books a week.

    The last few magazines i bought eventually went into the trash half read… Can’t remember the last non-technicalpaper book I picked up.

    Oh – what’s this silliness about saving trees? the trees are only grown because they are to be turned into paper… !

  • arch1tect April 14, 2008, 7:47 am

    Until the FAA Changes there regulation and allows me to view my electronics between takeoff and 10,000 Feet, magazines will always have a place on my lap. You can only read sky mall so many times!!!

  • Julie April 14, 2008, 10:21 am


    You bring up a great point that didn’t even occur to me! I guess I don’t travel enough…

Leave a Comment