I think I’ve had an unbroken subscription to Scientific American for the last 15 years or so. This week, I gave up my paper subscription. I usually purchased my subscription for 3 years at a time, but the latest round was due to expire in June or July, I think. I’d started getting the reminder notices, telling me to renew my subscription. Well, after my experiment in January, seeing how the magazine looked in the digital edition on my iPad, I decided not to renew the paper edition and instead, subscribe to the digital edition.
While the digital subscription is about $5 more each year, there are three big advantages:
- I get each month’s issue a week before it hits the newsstands.
- I can read the issue on my iPad.
- I have access to the entire digital archive of the magazine going back to 1993.
That latter item is huge. I’ve already played around with it. I can access a PDF copy of about 200 issues of the magazine. I can download either the entire issue in PDF format, or just the article I happen to be interested in. Now, when reading a current article that refers to an earlier article, I don’t have to wonder about it. If it appeared in a post-1992 issue, I can get it and read it.
Of course, there is also the usual benefit of being able to search within the issues, to say nothing of not having stacks of magazines cluttering my office.
The only magazine I still receive in paper form is Time and I also get that in digital. I’d give up the paper version there, too, but Time does not provide an option for that. To receive the digital version, you must also get the paper version. Maybe one day they will figure this out, too.