Facing a Tsunami of Printed Magazines in My Post Office Box

I have a terrible relationship with the magazines that flood my post office box nearly every day. I just can’t ever manage to read all of them, and even the best magazines–the likes of the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, and Harpers, sit unopened in big piles around my house.

I feel bad because I love reading, and I’ve so far decided not to renew the biggest reason I can’t read my magazines–The Wall Street Journal. Getting the big heavy daily paper in the same mailbox was the original reason my mags went unread. There are just so many sections and it comes again and again, like a wave, so that that precious time when I sit down after cooking supper was always taken up by the big newspaper.

I learn quite a bit from the WSJ, there are stories in there that days or even weeks later are breathlessly reported on NPR as if they had just happened. Again and again, the story breaks on the pages of the WSJ and then is picked up by the rest of the pack. But the paper comes with a steep cost–it’s about $400 a year to get it mailed to you six days a week. When the post office threatened to stop Saturday delivery the first thing I thought was how are they gonna get Saturday’s WSJ delivered? So far no one is sure about whether that threat will become reality, but could mean the paper will only be mailed out five days a week.

But when the subscription lapsed, I didn’t move right away. I thought, now I”ll have time to read the stacks of magazines. But the problem is–I didn’t. I think part of this is because they are monthly or weekly so nothing in the mags is very current. The one exception in the stack is Wired. I read that every month, cover to cover, and love it. But will I get to that November issue of The New Yorker?

I doubt it.