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magazine subscriptions

Books + Ideas — December 2010

Most of the magazines and journals I've subscribed to have been general science publications. I had a subscription to Scientific American for several years, maybe a decade ago. Camilla and I have had a subscription to New Scientist for many years now, and just recently we've subscribed to Nature.

I'm reading more of Nature than I expected: as well as the general news, all the News & Views pieces and the abstracts of the research articles and letters, and occasionally one of the latter in full. (The most disappointing pieces, strangely, are the book reviews, which tend to be of low level popular books.) If we drop back to one publication - and two weekly magazines is probably too much reading - I'd be tempted to go with Nature.

Update, May 2011 Camilla has signed us up for Science as well! How we're supposed to find time to read all of this is beyond me.

In the past I have briefly subscribed to an Australian political magazine Arena and to The Mongolian Journal of Biological Sciences.

The only new subscription I keep thinking about is to the New Zealand Journal of History. I really should do that for a year just to see what it's like.

For me the main advantage of magazines, over either web reading or books, is that they stay flat on the table and can easily be read while eating. And spilling food on an ultimately disposable magazine is not so bad as getting it onto a computer or a book!


  1. I can remember subscribing to two magazines only. One was Turf Monthly, when I was a keen horse-racing follower. The other one was Newsweek. That was back in the 1970s. Since then, none whatever.

    Comment by DL — December 2010
  2. Oh yes, I also subscribed to Readers Digest for about a year in the early 1960s. Very forgettable.

    Comment by DL — December 2010
  3. The big advantage of having two subscriptions (New Scientist and Nature) is that we get one each to read over dinner.

    I'm still having trouble keeping up with it all, though.

    Comment by danny — January 2011

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