Information Overload via Magazine Insanity

June 29, 2006

One of my goals of late has been to read a short story a day.  I’ve been doing this by catching up on several issues of Fantasy &Science Fiction I have laying around.  This kills two birds with one stone.  It allows me to read some science fiction and analyze stories written by others, but also serves to catch up on the issues I’ve not read yet.

A year or so ago I subscribed to about two dozen magazines.  Two dozen!?  There was a logical reason for this, at least in my mind.  Buying a regularly read magazine off the rack annoys me.  If you read the magazine every month it’s usually far cheaper to subscribe, and far more convenient.  Budget Travel, for instance,  costs $4.95 an issue and yet is $14.95 a year, the cost of three individual issues.  If you’re going to read the magazine, you may as get 12 for the price of 3, right? 

Right.

The downside is always playing catch-up. Over the weekend I went through several months of Bottom Line, scanning and ripping pages for later reading.  I did the same to some older  issues of The Week, but doing that annoys me because I’m wasting money.  (If  I had just one magazine to subscribe to, by the way,  it would be The Week, a great compilation of the weekly news.  Check it out.)

I’ve cut it back to about a sixteen magazines right now, and several of those won’t be renewed in the coming months.  In my case, The Week, New Scientist, and Kiplinger’s Newsletter are weekly and PC Magazine is twice a month.  Budget Travel, Reason, Free Inquiry, Skeptical Inquirer and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance arrive every month.  American Scholar and The Wilson Quarterly arrives four times a year, as does the SFWA Bulletin.  And then there are the monthly Fantasy & Science Fiction and Locus, and Realms of Fantasy and Heavy Metal six times a year.

Information overload.  I won’t mention the daily RSS feeds.

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