Monday, June 16, 2008

Random Thought - Magazines

I'm usually a fairly forward leaning guy. I grew up with computers in the house, I think it is a travesty that we aren't farming the oceans like in The Deep Range, and that there is really no excuse for abandoning the moon after Apollo and so on. But in some ways, I think I'm a dinosaur. While sending in a subscription for Realms of Fantasy today, I realized that one of those areas is definitely magazines.

One thing that is certain is that magazine readership is on the decline. Magazine subscriptions are down. The print magazine business has been on the decline for quite a while, certainly it is much smaller now than it was in the 1940s and 1950s. Dozens of magazine titles have gone out of business, and almost all of the others have seen their volumes decline precipitously.

And yet, I subscribe to and read seven different magazines: The Economist, National Geographic, Science News, Locus, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, and Asimov's Science Fiction. As of today, with the addition of Realms of Fantasy, the total is up to eight. Note that not only do I subscribe to them, I said "and read" - I think this is important. I know a lot of people who subscribe to one or another magazine and never read the issues. I used to subscribe to the daily Washington Post, but I realized I never read it, so I discontinued it.

But still, eight magazine subscriptions. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Can you hear the crashing footsteps of a dinosaur?

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