Open Thread: What's Your Favorite Dead-Tree Ware?


These days, there’s so much news and opinion online that the web worker hardly needs to resort to magazines and newspapers. Still, there are times when you can’t get to the web–like on a plane as I was yesterday for four hours–and times when you might want a break from sitting at your desk.

What magazines and newspapers do you read to keep you professionally sharp or give you an escape from work?

My own dead tree favorites are after the jump; share yours in the comments.

The Wall Street Journal. I pay for both the paper subscription and online access. Although I only read a few articles from it each day, I find that its business and technology coverage along with the lifestyle sections provide a perspective and content that isn’t duplicated anywhere else. Don’t miss Walt Mossberg’s personal technology column. I liked his comparison of the Samsung Blackjack and Treo 750.

A local newspaper. I subscribe to the Denver Post, and like the Wall Street Journal, I only read a little bit of it each day. By subscribing to it and flipping through it each morning (or lunchtime, when I’m taking my first break from the computer) I often find articles that are relevant to me professionally or personally that I wouldn’t otherwise see–because I don’t make it a habit to browse online newspaper sites.

eWeek. I find this weekly a good magazine to browse before bedtime because of its wide and accessible technology coverage. I dogear pages with subjects I’d like to blog on and then go through my old piles when I’m stuck without ideas. My biggest complaint with this is that the new issues often arrive before I’ve even cracked open the previous one. I’ve learned to put them in the recycling bin if they get more than a couple weeks old before I’ve read them. Unread magazines demand my attention, so I don’t like to keep too many around.

The New Yorker. A weekly that falls mainly into the “escape” category for me but every so often offers ideas relevant to the world of technology. Regular contributors Malcolm Gladwell and James Surowiecki often suggest big ideas that show me the world in a different way.

Allure. The closest thing to a “beauty hacks” magazine that exists. It’s just for fun. But what I learn could come in handy if the virtual teams I work on ever start to use video conferencing or worse, ambient video awareness.

I also buy the occasional Discover, Psychology Today, and PC Magazine for inspiration and education.

There are some publications like Business Week and Wired that offer such great RSS feeds that I don’t need to buy the print version, though of course if I’m on a plane, you might find me with the dead tree editions in my laptop bag.

What print periodicals do you subscribe to, if any? How do you use magazines and newspapers to give you ideas and help you escape?



PC World is my offline companion. I’ve been a subscriber since 2003 I believe, and still appreciate much of what they write. However, like other computer magazines (PC Magazine included), they seem to be writing less about computers and more about consumer electronics.

Khurt Williams

MacLife, MacWorld, Make, and Real Simple magazine are my faves. I get Information Week, InfoWorld, and Network World in the mail but usually recycle these before reading.

Richard B.

The Economist… hands down.
Did you know? …there are OTHER counties out there! …whole continents even! And very -little- going on in the world depends on the Super Bowl or if Brittany is pregnant.

Mike Murray

I have to say that I’m a big fan of the magazine – while I love blogs, there’s something about the actual form-factor of a physical magazine that can’t be ignored. So, the short list of things that actually get read every issue – Strategy+Business, Fast Company, Business 2.0, and usually at least one edition per month of Sports Illustrated.

With breakfast on the weekends, I usually pick up a copy of the Boston Globe and Portsmouth Herald… it’s always fun to keep up on the small town local news and the bigger city news over eggs & bacon.

Tim Peter

I’ll jump on the Wired bandwagon here. I also pick up Discover regularly when traveling and read Esquire for its solid writing that often makes me laugh and think. And I keep a stack of books on my nightstand that I work my way through. I usually have two or three going at a time. For instance, I’m reading John Berendt’s “The City of Falling Angels” and re-reading Chris Anderson’s “The Long Tail” right now.

Anne Zelenka

I absolutely love Cook’s Illustrated–it definitely speaks to the geeky side of me. I also like their new offering Cook’s Country, the recipes are a bit more accessible but still developed with serious experimentation and analysis.

I also forgot to mention that I subscribe to The Economist. I think my IQ goes up by a point every time I finish an issue. That’s some heavy-duty reading, but extremely interesting.


Im with Kelly. I love Wired and have been a subscriber for 2 years now. Even though, like most magazines its laden with Ads and Sponsors, I still enjoy reading their content and reader opinions.

Dave C.

Since venturing into blogdom, I’ve stopped reading as many magazines. But here’s a short list of those I still buy:

Juxtapoz – art on a tilt-a-whirl
The Horse – Chopper mag with a classic niche
Domino – This is my wife’s, but I read it when she’s not looking


I still subscribe to Wired, and have for many years. I can get their stuff online, but I like being able to grab it and crash on the couch when a mental break is needed.

I also pick up from the library Dwell, Outside, and Scientific American. There are a bunch of design industry rags I like, but they are to expensive to buy otc. Who wants to pay $14 for a magazine?

Brandon Wood

I still enjoy reading my local newspaper, along with Popular Science and Wired magazines. Yes, they both have a huge online presence, but that’s harder to read in bed for a few minutes before going to sleep.

Amie Gillingham

I only get two dead-tree pub these days: Craft Magazine, which is part work-related and part guilty pleasure, and Good Magazine, which hits some work-related notes, but is mostly guilty pleasure.

I pretty much gave up on other arts magazines since they say so little about the community doing the creating. And I tend to read all of my tech news online.


I used to read Reason magazine, now I just read it online. The only papers I get physical copies of anymore are local – the Coos County Democrat and the Lancaster Herald, which I both sometimes forego and read online. As for other online papers – The Washington Post, The NH Union Leader, the Concord Monitor (also NH), Harper’s, and whatever shows up on Google News.


For escaping my Mac, I’ll pick up Jazz Improv, Shutterbug or any Camera related mag, or a interesting book (usually technical in nature). Architectural digest can be fun too.

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