Saturday, 3 March 2007

Why do I read magazines?

Is there some kind of intellectual faux pas I am committing by reading magazines? Why do people seem a bit disappointed when they find out I read about 12-15 magazines/month?

I don't read just magazines. I also read books. I read 2-3 of those/month. I must confess I rarely read newspapers. Rarely is defined as once/month max. With the single exception of the local village paper (which is free), I buy a newspaper for the sole purpose of using it to light the fire in the fireplace. All my daily news I get on the Internet. I can get the news that interests me without getting my hands dirty (although RSI can be an unpleasant side effect).

Why would I buy a paper? The ink gets all over my fingers and furniture. There's no convenient place to read a broadsheet. Ever tried reading a paper on a train or in a car? The ink spreading gets even worse when you have to fold and refold it to get it into position to read. Then I realise I'm not actually interested in anything on that page and the folding exercise begins again.

Quite often, particularly if I buy a Sunday paper, large sections go unread for weeks and stack up in the corner of the lounge. Inevitably, I try to read them but find myself skimming them more than reading, as if to give the impression that I have read them. This eases my conscious of the guilt I feel for buying and then not reading. So then I just throw them away (or burn them, depending on seasonal requirements).

Magazines are different. Very rarely does what a magazine have to say go out of date. They can give stories much more in-depth coverage and provide multiple points of view. They can compile all the facts and give a comprehensive account of the event/person/place/thing. And the pictures are so much better!

Do you read newspapers?

LATE EDIT
"The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers." --Thomas Jefferson

2 comments:

cworkman said...

Here in SF, they heat the paper, which sets the ink, and there are no more yukky inky hands. Santa Cruz has the inky one. Great story. Love C&M

Janell said...

I don't usually read the paper, but Randy and Emily ALWAYS read the editorial pages and then get into some lively debates, although i'm not sure you could call them debates because they mostly agree with each other on almost everything. Any way they enjoy looking at each other incredulously and saying; "Can you believe anybody could say such a stupid thing and then put it in the paper for all the world to see!?"
I am a firm believer that there is no better way to spend time than by reading. I think that's why I enjoyvisiting this blog!
jc