Print magazine suggestions needed!
September 4, 2017 9:06 AM   Subscribe

I love receiving and reading actual print magazines. I'm looking for 1-2 new ones to try. My likes and dislikes are inside...

I currently subscribe to Time, New York (not to be confused with The New Yorker--and no, I'm not from NY but I always find articles of interest in each issue), Vanity Fair, and Real Simple. I used to get Smithsonian and enjoyed it a lot but decided I wanted to try something new.
I've subscribed to The New Yorker in the past and liked it but found that I kept falling behind and couldn't catch up. Is there anything that's "New Yorker-ish" that isn't quite so daunting to get through?
I like long form nonfiction, investigative reporting, deep personality profiles, and current events. Not so much into fiction/literary periodicals or lifestyle/home magazines (although I do inexplicably find Real Simple to be incredibly calming to read!).
What other magazines are out there in print form that I might enjoy?
Thanks in advance!
posted by bookmammal to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
The Atlantic is probably the closest you will get to The New Yorker without being so daunting.
posted by jacobean at 9:14 AM on September 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

Things that spring to mind would be The Atlantic, or also Mother Jones, or The Nation. You could check out their online sites to get a sense of what they do.

For something a bit different, if you have any interest in the subject, Archaeology Magazine does a really good job, and the new subscriber price is really reasonable for what you get.
posted by gudrun at 9:22 AM on September 4, 2017

This will sound out of left field, but there are two magazine I've always been able to read cover to cover, even when every article didn't seem interesting: Vanity Fair and Fast Company.

Fast Company is techy without being technical, and busniessy without being wonky, and finds interesting intersections between those two tent pole and popular culture, design, and politics. You can check out the magazine edition online. OTOH, I don't read the online version and their DesignCo blog hates my ipad.

Wired is simialr, but more with more specialized features I skip and a lot of techdood stuff, like how cherry bombs work.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:30 AM on September 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Give Trains magazine a try. You will learn a lot about a somewhat ignored part of the transportation infrastructure. Excellent photography too.
posted by leaper at 9:47 AM on September 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

The trick with The New Yorker is:
1) You don't have to continue reading any article that doesn't catch your interest.
2) Accept that you'll never catch up and just read the latest issue you get.
posted by ShooBoo at 9:47 AM on September 4, 2017 [11 favorites]

Harpers often has great long-form current events stories, but I haven't ever subscribed.

I have been seriously considering subscribing to Current Affairs and the Baffler. They might be up your alley.
posted by mostly vowels at 10:16 AM on September 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

The Walrus
posted by Ftsqg at 10:31 AM on September 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

I second the recommendation for Harper's. It's run by a nonprofit, so the subscriptions are inexpensive, and you get access to their archive going back to the 1850s.
posted by Lycaste at 11:04 AM on September 4, 2017

Harper's is ok, but the Atlantic is better. It's a really good magazine.

The New Republic used to be pretty good. It's still ok.

Trains magazine is really fun, that's true.

Keep old copies of the New Yorker near your toilet. I always buy a copy when I'm flying, but I never finish. When I take the copy into the bathroom with me, though, I eventually finish every one.
posted by kevinbelt at 11:19 AM on September 4, 2017

I've had subscriptions to the paper version of Bitch Magazine off and on, and I've found the content, writing and production values to be very high quality and enjoyable.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:26 AM on September 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Our local library has dozens and dozens of subscriptions to magazines in online form. It's an easy -- and free! -- way to read a few issues and get a sense of the magazine. The library also has print copies, and as long as you're just curious and so don't need the most recent issue, just go to the library and try some out.

And off topic, but must add a reminder: Libraries! They also have movies. All kinds of movies. Free. Currently I'm reading a book (yes, originally from the library but I bought my own copy), "Retakes" which is background info/gossip about 500 classic movies. I'm going through the list and getting copies of the movies that sound even a little interesting from the library. Amazing amount of fun, far better than scrolling hopelessly through streaming, or even asking perfect strangers for recommendations. .... Which is fun, too, of course! I (heart) MeFi!
posted by kestralwing at 11:48 AM on September 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you like Real Simple, then you'll probably also like Good Housekeeping. Yes, I know - terrible name, terrible messaging, but it's basically the same magazine, but I find it easier to differentiate the ads from the articles. Maybe buy one at a local store and see what you think?
posted by Toddles at 12:13 PM on September 4, 2017

Texas Monthly hits many of your likes. It's a great magazine.
posted by old_growler at 6:17 PM on September 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Seconding Texas Monthly, which I like in spite of hating Texas. And another magazine that I actually read is New Mexico magazine. Some Barnes & Noble branches carry it.

Warning: this magazine created a deep longing in me to go to Santa Fe. Which I finally did this past February.
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:34 PM on September 4, 2017

I'm going to suggest that you give The New Yorker another try, because it consistently publishes the best long-form nonfiction of all types around, period. I hardly ever read everything in every single issue, though most weeks I read most things (a long train commute helps). But I really think you should let go of the notion that you need to read all of them cover-to-cover and subscribe. No other magazine scratches that itch in quite the same way.

The Atlantic runs some great stories, but I find that it also runs a lot of...upper-middle-class anxiety porn? Something like that. And you can read the whole thing for free online, so I'll generally just do that when something good comes along.

I enjoy (and subscribe to) The Economist for current affairs, largely because of the global perspective, but their longer-form stuff is generally non-narrative and kind of hit-or-miss. Harper's has some very good stuff, but also some duds.

Also, IMO The Atlantic, The Economist and Harper's all tend to feel like a Certain Sort of Person talking to themselves (albeit a different sort of person for each magazine) in a way that The New Yorker does not, at least outside of the chattier front-section columns.
posted by breakin' the law at 7:14 PM on September 4, 2017

I like the New York Review of Books. You can order a sample issue from their archive. They're especially handy for reading in airports while waiting for a missed flight - large enough to block out the image of the guy across who's picking his ear, but not as unwieldy as a newspaper.
posted by invisible ink at 12:07 AM on September 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

« Older Name that 90's dystopian YA novel   |   What's causing my foot cramps? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.