Erbauliche Monaths Unterredungen

According to Wikipedia, the word Magazine has Arabic roots and it means warehouse. Wikipedia also suggests that the earliest example of magazines was Erbauliche Monaths Unterredungen and was launched in 1663 in Germany.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been subscribed to a few magazines. I read books too, but I like magazines more. Today, I was asking myself: what is behind the allure of reading magazines? And I could think of a few reasons:

First, magazines are about short-form contents. People like me, who easily get impatient about direction of a story, favor short-form contents. For instance, the build-up section of an article is usually no longer than a few paragraphs. In comparison, the build-up part of a book can go on up to a few chapters.

Second, magazines home variety of topics in one print –from analysis of human genome to pregnancy of Zooey Deschanel. Variety actualizes entertainment. As such magazines inherently become reading adventures by letting us the pleasure of wandering through writers’ brains.

Third, books resemble a sense of permanence and infrequency. In contrast, magazines are purposed to be periodic and disposable. That’s built in to the business, design, and function of magazines. The periodic nature of reading material provokes a sense of thrill and expectation.

The reasons we read magazines seem to be similar to why we read anything. We read to learn and break free from boredom. In doing that, we have preferences in the form based on our habits and sense of sufficiency.

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