Read More Magazines!
In school we are constantly reminded to stay off social media and keep our heads in the books. Well I'm here to offer a bit of unconventional advice. Read more magazines! Aside from the usual joys of reading, there are a number of academic and personal benefits that derive from reading more magazines.
- Reading for better writing. I don't buy the idea that students are reading less today than they did in the past. While we may not read traditional books, we read texts in social media posts, blogs, articles, and magazines on a daily - if not hourly - basis. Many people don't associate magazines with high-level prose but editors put a lot of effort into condensing a ton of information into pithy prose. The New Yorker, for example, is renowned for employing full-time grammarians on staff to make sure each sentences comes across just right. I'm a firm believer that the more we read, regardless of what it may be, the better we're able to express ourselves and the better writers we become. Besides, skimming a magazine is exponentially more entertaining than thumbing through Strunk and White's The Elements of Style.
- Reading inside your field but outside academia. Reading the top academic journals in your field is a necessity but reading the popular journals in your field is a great way to understand how your work resonates with the broader public. It is also makes for good conversation among your professors and peers. If you're in STEM check out magazines like Science or Popular Mechanics. For those in the Social Sciences and Humanities check out The New Yorker or The Intelligence Report.
- Reading for leisure. Finally, magazines provide a good avenue for stress release and leisure. We spend most of our time reading for school, it's good to take a break and read for leisure every once in a while. There is a magazine for almost every hobby and interest you can imagine. For those interested in entrepreneurship and tech, check out Fast Company. Interested in video games, Game Informer is the fourth most widely circulated magazine in the United States.
Before you pay for a subscription to your favorite magazine, I recommend that you check your local library for free e-magazine subscriptions. If you find a couple you like, download the Zinio app on your tablet or PC and get to reading.
What magazines are you currently reading?
Image from thebittenword.com