Even though I'm all for digital access to texts of all sorts, I'm realizing that I'm rather old-skool about magazines. I love reading magazines -- we subscribe to a couple weeklies (news/entertainment) and a couple monthlies (health/lifestyle). (All of which get recycled, and also distributed at the gym etc for re-reading.) And whenever I'm on a plane, I feel allowed to indulge in a handful of other magazines -- the ones that I don't read regularly, but thoroughly enjoy on occasion.
Recently, Undine talked about how Newsweek is trying to be more like a blog in its writing style, and Gawker reported the rumor that Entertainment Weekly might move to online-only format. We subscribe to both of these, and I've been interested to see how each manages the hybrid format now common in the publishing world, where the website supplements the print issue to some degree. Frankly, the rare occasions when I've gone to each website, I've found them frustratingly organized and overly redundant. But when I'm reading EW its mentions of additional movie reviews etc that can be found on the website actually sound interesting. Whereas Newsweek has this incredibly irritating column each week that ranks the 10 most viewed stories on their website for the previous week -- which inevitably includes several stories that were in the print magazine, but some that were not. I suppose it's meant to make me interested in the trendy stories of the day -- but inevitably I feel only mild curiosity combined with irritation -- if these stories were so important or intriguing, why weren't they in the print mag?
What I like about Newsweek and EW as weekly magazines is that they are designed for interstitial reading -- the little bits of time in the day when you want to relax your mind but don't want to get caught up in something lengthy or challenging. And for me, by definition, these moments are not in front of the computer. I like having lightweight reading matter that can easily slip into my bag if I'm going to the dentist, or that I can read while I'm heating up leftovers for lunch. Something that I can spill coffee on without dismay.
And when I'm online, I've got so much else to read, I rarely go to sites from major news media, preferring born-digital sources. I guess I prefer those worlds still kind of separate.