Monday, April 11, 2005

Another Reason Not To Subscribe To The Atlantic...

... aside from its habit of being woefully late in its in-depth analysis of American foreign policy. The Atlantic has announced it will be dropping its monthly fiction feature in favor of an annual "fiction issue". On the face of it, I'd say this is actually a laudable strategy, but the NYT says that while the fiction ish will be for sale on newsstands each August, "Subscribers to the magazine will have access to its contents online but apparently will not receive a printed copy."


I'm addicted to on-line reading, but I am adamant about one exception: I will not read fiction unless it is on the printed page. There are two modes of reading, speed reading and submersive reading: I would submit the majority of people who still read fiction do it to submerge. And while submersion might be possible with a computer monitor, it is difficult and, frankly, not recommended. It's murder on your posture. You crane your neck forward, squint, hunch, breathe differently ... not good. If a particular fictional piece is available only on-line, I will print it out and read it elsewhere. But if I were still an Atlantic subscriber, I would be very peeved at this bit of news.

Their choice of ficition is another matter of contention, but I've already squawked about that.

NYT link thanks to Bookninja.


DarkoV said...

I'm with you on the "not read(ing) fiction unless it is on the printed page". Old school, that, but I can't help myself in writing in the margins or going to one of the blank pages available in the back and writing down page numbers or words I'm either clueless about or ones that I'll try to incorporate into every day (well maybe at least once a month) usage. Keeps the synapses firing.

On the part regarding Atlantic's dumping of the fiction, I'm not as upset with. I'll still be subscribing because the non-fiction articles are worth the small cost and these pieces are usually not available on the on-line version. Thinking about it, most of the pieces I enjoy reading about in The New Yorker are also non-fiction, which is peculiar. I still see myself as mainly a fiction reader

Whisky Prajer said...

It was a rare Atlantic story (i.e., fiction) that resonated with me, and I'm getting pickier about New Yorker selections as well. I wonder what to attribute that to? I loved the Dennis Lehane short, though. Nothing especially surprising or "new" about it, but his narrative choices were briskly evocative and compelling, and reminded me of Charles Willeford at his best. It amounted to a form of escapism, which most "MLA" short-stories no longer do: for 30 minutes I could be a tough guy ex-con who's spent enough time in the cooler to realize his father is going to play every last angle against his own flesh and blood, if he thinks he can gain from it - none of which applies to me! So much tastier than the hand-wringing fiction we usually get.