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Picked up the recent issue of Fast Company at the airport, which represents the first time I’ve actually looked at the actual magazine and not a stray blog link to one of their articles. Have to say that I enjoyed it enough to contemplate ordering a subscription. The cover article on Al Gore, while hagiographic in a mildly sycophantic way, was nonetheless, very informative. The whole tone, while geared toward business, is accented by techno-futurism and looking across domains. I ended up reading the issue straight through.

I still have a delight in magazines retained from the pre-internet era where getting the new issue in the mailbox represented a small pleasure. Currently, I subscribe to The Smithsonian, Edutopia, Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly and GQ. Formerly, I did so with The Wilson Quarterly, Foreign Affairs, National Geographic, Foreign Policy, Men’s Fitness, Playboy ( strictly for the articles), Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Health, Newsweek, The Columbia Journalism Review, Time, U.S. News & World Report, National Review and several local newspapers. My tendency was for the periodical pile to steadily grow to epic proportions until backlogged and unread material threatened to collapse the coffee table.

The internet has rendered such an excess of dead tree text superfluous and I no longer have the free time to even entertain trying to keep up with that kind of deluge. However, I still pick up some of those at the bookstore, along with magazines to which I’ve never subscribed, like Scientific American, The Economist, The New Republic , The Nation and The National Interest. The change in point of view or subject matter always does me some good.

What do you read ? Or not read ?

11 Responses to “”

  1. Steve Says:

    Popular Mechanics is the only subscription I have, almost all the others are either online totally or have worthy online competition.

  2. mark Says:

    Hi Steve,

    The online editions really do make the paper copy irrelevant unless an artful division of original content prevails.

  3. Michael Says:

    Subscribe to: Atlantic, Economist

    Airport Newsstand Fare: New Yorker, Guns & Ammo, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Fast Company, Outside, whatever business magazine is pimping the least amount of “easy” ways to do something with my money that month.

    Real Bookstore Fare (when I have the spare change): Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Swank (kidding).

  4. Theofanis D Lekkas Says:

    No Muscle Media 2000? Or was it too “hardcore” for you?

    Last ‘scrip I had was to the Economist. I almost entirely blogs and websites now. At airports Harvard Business Review (basically so I can complain that it is over priced drivel most of the time), Economist, Discover (or some other pulp science rag.) However, I am 30 so I may simply be emblematic of my generation.


    P.S. How do the internet manifestations of magazines factor in (i.e. Reason.com)?

  5. chirol Says:

    I currently get Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy and Hidden Europe. Occasionally I buy copies of Atlantic Monthly, The Economist and The American Interest. Like most, the majority of my reading is now online.

  6. Sean Says:

    Wired, SI, and now, as an employee of McGraw-Hill, Business Week

    68 feed subscriptions, which is pretty lean

  7. deichmans Says:

    Wired, Fast Company, U.S. News & World Report, and California (alumni magazine from my alma mater).

    I was just thinking (as I peruse the stack of unreads to the left of my keyboard) how nice it would be for subscribers to have access to online archives of past issues. Then my office would be a LOT less cluttered… 🙂

    sf/ shane

  8. Daniel Nexon Says:

    Smithsonian, National Geographic, The New York Review of Books, and the New Yorker. Don’t have time to consistently read any of them, though.

    We oscillate between subscribing and not subscribing to the Economist. I think we’re likely not to get it for a while.

    Of course, I have academic access to policy journals, so I have no incentive to subscribe to Foreign Affairs, the Washington Quarterly, and so forth.

    If we had the money, I would get a subscription to the Financial Times.

  9. mark Says:


    Never got into Musclemedia 2000 which appeared around the time I was burning out on the weightlifting hobby. REASON is a mag that I have only read online, never at the newstand.

    WIRED is a good read too.


    I think The Atlantic opens its archives to subscribers.


    I’d like an Economist subscription but the price is just so ridiculous – I won’t pay it

  10. Adrian Says:

    Because I’m still in school, I can basically read anything I want (online) for free.

    Paper copies, I read the Brown Alumni Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, and occasionally the Nation. No subscriptions other then the Alumni Magazine, usually I just head to the library.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Check out “Monocle” It’s like nothing else out there.

    -Elam Bend

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