This & That: In Praise of Paper Magazines
Plus our family's favorite reads of April.
In today’s edition of the newsletter I have some thoughts on paper magazines, the Anderberg family’s favorite reads of April, and, as always, some great links to peruse. Let’s get right to it.
Something I’m Thinking About: Paper Rules
I’ve been a subscriber to The Atlantic for a long time. My plan gets me digital access as well as the paper magazine, though in all honesty I rarely get to the paper edition. Until recently, that is.
After a few months of reading the paper magazine front to back, I realized that I’m doing myself a disservice and that the online experience can be subpar compared to the “real” thing.
There’s a number of downsides to reading magazine articles online: Headlines change dynamically (this is called A/B testing), the articles surfaced most prominently are those deemed most clickable (with help from an algorithm), and the likeliness of me reading something outside of what I’m already interested in is slim-to-nil. Plus, when I read online I’m likely to skim a lot of what I read.
The paper experience, on the other hand, is utterly unique and often superior. A team of people spent hours curating the perfect selection of articles, then arranged them in the perfect order for maximum enjoyment and impact. Graphic artists laid out the text on the page and created the perfect eye-popping visuals to accompany the content. A paper magazine is a work of true craftsmanship.
What I enjoy most about committing to the tangible object is that I end up reading articles I probably otherwise wouldn’t have. I learn new things. My world expands a bit. Ultimately, I’ve come to really enjoy interacting with the physical thing rather than skimming the same articles on my phone and ending up in my email inbox or Slack app instead.
If it’s been a while, give paper magazines a shot.