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January082008

How to Read The New Yorker: An Illustrated Guide

Filed under: Looked Into   Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Check out this gorgeous and useful entry by Heather Powazek Champ at The Magazineer, featuring elegant shots of the New Yorker pages in question. She writes:
A subscription to any weekly magazine is a commitment. If you subscribe to more than one, it’s even more important to ensure you stay on top of your consumption. I’ve developed the following process to ensure a timely yet comprehensive digestion of the beauty and wonder that is The New Yorker. Here’s my 10-step approach to the 7 January 2008 issue. (Read on.)
While I read the complete contents every week, or close to it, I certainly can’t (and don’t!) fault other people for doing less. (OK, I carp from time to time, but that’s only when my patience is really being tested.) This is a magazine, after all! It should be an illuminating diversion, not a chore.

Champ’s advice is similar to what I tell people who ask how to manage the overwhelmingness, as did my friend Stephen the other day (he got a subscription for Christmas). Skim the listings if you see live events in New York and the short movie reviews if you see movies anywhere; read Talk, Shouts, the cartoons if you like cartoons, the reviews of whatever interests you, and a long feature or Profile. I got an email from him just this morning, though, with this update: “actually, i’ve been meaning to write you to tell you that i DEVOURED the latest issue. like, read every article (almost). i’m LOVING it more than i expected.” So as you can see, it’s doable, even for busy actors, waiters, and other professionals!

Also, as I told Stephen, there’s nothing like it for total absorption on the subway, at the post office, in the tub, and on the internet. (Then, after you’ve recycled, you still have the DVD archives if a missed piece is haunting you like the Telltale Heart.) As Champ writes: “If managed correctly, the above process of consumption should take about a week. In fact, that’s what you should aim for lest you become ‘that’ subscriber who’s hopelessly behind.”

Amen to that. Thanks to Steve Heller for the tip!

Comments

Do I follow any kind of a pattern when I read The New Yorker? I’d like to think not, but I do tend to start at the back with the reviews. This tendency is often overridden by the irresistible urge to read a favorite writer – Ian Frazier, say, or Alice Munro – if he or she happens to have a piece in the magazine. I reserve GOAT for study while I’m in the bathroom or on a plane. But never in a bathroom on a plane. I guess that’s probably enough disclosure for now. It’s an interesting topic.

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