Over the last 10 or so years, most of my reading has shifted format. I find that I don’t hold paper in my hands in order to read the printed word very often at all anymore.
I do all of my work-related reading on my laptop, my large monitor, or on an iPad. I read for fun on the iPad, and I listen to books on Audible on my phone. I used to read physical newspapers, with all the associated folding trickery, sometimes for hours at a time. Now I read “newspaper” articles for a minute at a time on my phone when I wake up, and occasionally during the day when the alerts on my phone are sufficiently interesting. I subscribe to the New York Times but only the digital edition. I still read some of the things that arrive at my house by US Mail in the old school ways, though I recycle a lot more than I actually read. As I think about it, I read very little today in the formats and ways that I did just 10 years ago.
My one big exception is fishing magazines. I subscribe to a few fishing magazines and one boating magazine and I still get them delivered in paper form. I still pick them up in my hands, without any electronics involved, and read them that way. More than that, I keep them around for years. I often pick up old issues and read through them again.
When I first get a fishing magazine, I leaf through it slowly and take note of the article titles that are of interest to me. It won’t be all of them. The ones that catch my eye deal with the kinds of fishing that I do, and in the regions that I like to fish or hope to some day fish. Sometimes there are articles about techniques that interest me, such as kite fishing for sailfish, or trolling for tuna and wahoo, or articles about fishing rods and reels and tackle that I use or want to try. I might read these right away or remember them for later. I skip over other techniques that are less interesting for me such as fly-fishing in fresh water. I also may read the reviews of new boats and boating equipment, and I look over the ads for equipment ideas.
When I come back to one of my fishing or boating magazines, whether a week later or years later, I’m already familiar with it. I can leaf through it again and be reminded of the things that I noticed the first time. I might read an article about fishing halfway around the world, or one that caught my eye on drifting techniques or rigs for Striped Bass close to home. It doesn’t matter if the article is 3 years old, it can still inform my fishing.
Unlike news articles which are timely, and unlike most books which I generally read once from start to finish, these magazines are things I read small parts of over longer periods of time. The photos and headlines and ads fuel my fishing dreams.
My fishing and boating magazines are my favorite beach and deck reading and I keep favorite issues around for years. They really are the last big holdout in my old school reading of the printed word on paper.
Do you read much in dead-tree format? Leave a comment and let us all know.