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Posts Tagged ‘Reader’

I know changed comes to everyone and to everything, but I’m having trouble this time around.  It started with Newsweek, the venerable weekly news magazine I’ve subscribed to for years beyond my remembering.  I don’t know who they let loose in the graphics department – a whopping bright-but-not-very-experienced batch of 20-somethings, I suspect – but the articles now look like ads, the type must be something like 8- or 10-pt. (very hard on my middle-aged eyes) and there’s a lot of reverse print where it’s unnecessary (also very hard on the eyes). Then someone got into the editorial suite as well, because suddenly there was a whole issue edited by Stephen Colbert – a stunt if I ever saw one –  and now they seem to have gone with a theme for each issue.  They’ve “fixed” something that wasn’t broken; and now I won’t be renewing my subscription.  I’m pretty sure people in my Baby Boomer age group must have been a staple audience for Newsweek all these years, but now I feel abandoned in favorof gimmicks and flash which make the magazine far more difficult to read; and in favor of the “flavor of the week” approach, rather than a simple recap of the week’s news with insightful analysis.  I like Fareed Zakaria a lot; but I’ll just read him online or catch him on CNN.

Somthing similar has happened over at Reader’s Digest.  Suddenly it’s the folksy version of “News McNuggets,” and again, the graphics have changed and are more difficult to wade through.  This latest edition, however, pretty well sealed it for me in terms of leaving; there’s a mountain of advice, and fewer of the kinds of stories that have always made Reader’s Digest an enjoyable, comforting and inspirational read.  Then I saw an article somewhere that said Reader’s Digest was going to tilt toward a more religious bent.  For that, I figure, there’s Guideposts and a lot of other magazines.  From Reader’s Digest, I wanted the jokes, the quotes, the stories of people who made it thorugh difficult times and triumphed; a small book selection – the content that was presented without a lot of flash; the small bits of advice that weren’t patronizing.

Everybody does flash now, and everybody thinks flash is substance.  Well, I beg to differ – it’s not.  Granted we have lots of bells and whistles at our fingertips online, and we can stay entertained for endless periods if we like.  But I like to read, and I look to read news of substance and stories that enlighten me in some way, that tell me something about myself in reflection, and about the world I live in.  I like to read.  Is there anybody out there anymore who also likes to read?    Good thing books are still being published.

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