This post focuses on the pros and cons of spending $20 on a 6 month subscription to Psychology Today to illustrate the point of the title. But please don’t leave yet assuming it will boring! I mean, it might be, but I need your help. The reason I’m even having this decision snafu is because when I mentioned I was going to buy a subscription to this magazine, my boyfriend furrowed his brow at me. He furrowed his brow at me! I’m like, ‘what does that mean’? He’s like, ‘I’m sure there are plenty of free psychology articles on the internet, but whatever.’
So, naturally, this sent me into a fight or flight decision-making process. I know $20 isn’t that much money, relatively speaking, and you’re probably thinking ‘just buy the damn subscription!’ But there are a number of other factors that I’m obsessing about with this. Do I spend $20 on 6 issues of this beautiful, alluring, and—oh yeah, informative magazine? Or should I just be realistic and look for articles online?
Here are the cons:
1. I already have a reading list that could wrap around the moon at least twice. And my apartment is packed full of old Writer’s Digests and books, only half of which are on said reading list. I should really start to consider making the books I already have priority on my Goodreads to-read list. *Sigh*
2. So you know those old Writer’s Digests I mentioned in #1? Yeah, that’s part of the problem. I have been known to hoard. So if I get these Psychology Todays, whose to say they won’t be layering my kitchen table like a second coat of lacquer at any given moment? The question is will I be able to exorcise myself of their hold, even if I have read everything they have to offer and have no further use of them?
3. I could always look for articles online. The bf is right.
Here are the pros:
1. I love psychology and I am interested in learning more. I love giving my characters psychological disorders, though never lightly. I especially love weaving it into my horror pieces, so it would be like research really. Right?
2. Not only good research, but it could provide untold amounts of inspiration for future pieces.
3. Finally, I could always find articles online, but this magazine is an art form of sorts, its form being derived from that of books and pamphlets–some of the first mass-produced literature. There are editors that put together relevant articles under an organizing theme geared toward a certain audience. And I want to be part of that audience.
A final point that is neither pro nor con: Would I have this same dilemma about buying a book that I wanted to read? Why is a $20 commitment to six issues of a magazine a more involved decision-making process? I think I would, at my age and level of frugality, have the same reservations about buying another book to add to my apocalypse-preparedness hoard of books. However, given that this is an entirely different arena of reader-consumption with more potential to benefit me, why the internal struggle about it? Maybe you’ve decided I should just get the damn subscription in the hopes of one day diagnosing myself to understand why this poses such a quandary for me. Either way, I want to hear your thoughts.
Is format, theme, and the compilation of words and images–with some advertisements thrown in, of course–on a subject you’re interested in worth a six or twelve month commitment? While magazines are a dying art, what with the advent of the internet, people still read them on their i-pads and tablets and enjoy their layout.
Do you subscribe to any magazines or even literary magazines? Do you like reading your week or month’s worth of short stories in lit mag format or do you prefer to take it in piecemeal? Why? Or are there particular magazines you read just because you love the editor (I love the editor for Writer’s Digest so much, I even read her Editor’s Note!)? Is this form less important, appealing, spend-thrifty, or “green” than books or more so?