Since I’ve been home on Christmas break, I’ve worked my way through maybe half a dozen back issues of The New Yorker. I’ve told myself, “Just read the short stories, that’s why you subscribe to it anyway,” though I can usually get sucked into a feature article or a movie review (especially if it’s by David Denby, who is totally a mean girl and I find that entertaining even if I have no intention of watching the movie he’s reviewing). Despite that, the stack has barely shrunk since three more issues have been delivered in the meantime.
Did I say “stack”? I meant stacks. There’s one on the nightstand, one on the floor next to the nightstand, and a pile in a magazine basket that’s actually twice as tall as the basket itself. If it weren’t for the recliner it sits next to, the whole thing would topple over. Granted, not every magazine in the basket is a New Yorker. There are issues of Glimmer Train, The Missouri Review, Canteen, Gertrude. The Paris Review one year. I subscribe to a lot of lit journals that it seems I never get around to reading, but they’re hefty, book-like publications that will be kept and put on the bookshelf once I’ve made my way through them.
The New Yorker, on the other hand, winds up in the recycle bin.
I’ve had a subscription to the magazine for as long as I can remember. I recall times when I’d work my way through a stack of back issues and find some from 2006 and 2007, even 2003 once.
I’m afraid to count up all the New Yorker back issues I have. There’s probably about 30. That’s more than a half-year’s subscription in itself. The subscription’s not up for renewal until October 2013, but already I’m pretty certain I’m going to let it go unrenewed. For one thing, I’m a graduate student on a budget, and they have it at the library. For another, all that paper from which I regularly read about six to twelve pages before it goes in the bin. I may opt for the all-digital subscription later, but really, I wish I could just get the short story.
Merry Christmas, everybody. I have some reading to catch up on….