Monday, September 6, 2010

Stop the presses

I've been a subscriber to the New Yorker for several years.  I love having access to the digital archives, and occasionally I leaf through the magazine to see if there's a current story I want to read.  But in reality, the physical printed copy that arrives in the mailbox every week is a burden to me.  I don't want to carry around a magazine, I don't want to stack them on my bedside table, and I don't want to recycle them.  What I want is simply to have access to the stories that interest me (usually my attention is called to them by blogs or tweets or in digital form, added to my Kindle or available on the web.

What I want, in other words, is an online-only subscription.  And I would gladly pay the same rate I do for a print subscription (even though it would be nice if, given the costs of printing and mailing, the online-only were available at a discount).  It would be worth it to have free access to decades' worth of magazine content online, and to be able to selectively read anything in the current issue that had been pointed out to me as worthwhile.

I suspect that many of us are paying for services we don't want half of, in order to get the half we do want. Do you have an example?  And is there an answer to my online-only subscription wish -- are any venerable publications giving people that option?

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