Saturday, October 29, 2011

The New Yorker: Keep or Throw Away?

A reader of my New Yorker Fiction Commentaries writes:
I have a question which might not deal directly - but certainly indirectly - with this post. I've been subscribing to the NY for the past 4-5 years. I keep all my issues. Which is to say that by now I have two boxes full. I kind of want to get rid of them. Just wondering what other readers do? Maybe I'm just a packrat and throwing them away is no big deal? 
I'd be interested in hearing from you and your readers, or seeing some poll - throw away or keep?
Is there any advantage to keeping these issues or am I just wasting time/space?
We'd love to hear your comments on this. Here's my answer, though. Donate them if you can, recycle them if you can't. When I subscribed to the paper magazine, I recycled them when if finished with them. That was one reason I started my weekly commentary, just so I'd force myself to read the magazine every week. Especially now that subscribers have access to the online archive, I don't see any real reason to hang on to the artifacts. Spread the wealth, one way or another. (My subscription now is on my Kindle, and for a while I was keeping all of the past copies, even those I'd read, but I don't even do that anymore.)

8 comments:

Martina said...

I keep. Don't ask me why, though. I guess one day I will recycle them and just keep the ones with the covers I like. That's my plan, ;-).

katrina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
katrina said...

Donate them if you can. Donate them to your library or to any local doctor's office. It's a good way to get short stories into the hands of people who might not otherwise read them.

Ann Graham said...

Definitely donate or since I'm the recipient of used copies from a friend, I tear out the short stories and put them in a folder with a sheet listing what is inside the folder. I recycle the remnants. Needless to say, I hate reading on the computer monitor.

Leslie said...

I recycle mine, but if there's something I really love, I rip it out and save it. I understand the desire to save the copies--packrat tendencies!--but I don't have the storage space, and since I started getting rid of them, I have no regrets.

Skoticus said...

I'll be honest...I have this problem with all well designed magazines. Literary magazines have so much good reading in them, and food magazines have such pretty pictures. It's hard to throw anything away. Luckily, as a student, I've moved a lot and that has forced me to throw away. I don't know what I'll do when my wife and I actually have a house of our own for more than a year or two at a time.

Jonathan said...

I bring mine into work exactly one week after I receive it at home. That way, it keeps me on my reading toes! Someone always grabs it from the office kitchen table.

Anonymous said...

Take a number of your favorite covers, possibly those from the same artist, and make a montage of them, mounted in matting and a giant frame. Great for a living room or study. You can throw away the rest of the issues. You may want to save as training paper, for dogs not yet house-broken, the pages upon which those tired and over-rated fiction writers' work appears.