When Magazines Struggle

Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.
Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.

The news came via a handful of flimsy postcards.

Four beloved fiction magazines were altering their formats to print only “double issues.”

The catch?

They were dropping down to bimonthly releases.

The quality quartet – “Analog Science Fiction and Fact,” “Asimov’s Science Fiction,” “Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine” and “Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine” – have all been monthly publications, more or less.

For the last several years, they’ve been published 10 times a year – in eight regular-sized issues plus two double-sized issues.

But now current owner Dell Magazines, a subsidiary of Penny Publications, best known for its monthly flood of crossword and puzzle magazines, decided to switch them to bimonthly status and so notified its subscribers in postcards.

Is the change because of declining sales?

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Why You Need to Hide Your Copy of ‘When Breath Becomes Air’

breathDo not take “When Breath Becomes Air” on the train for your next commute to work.

Do not pull out “When Breath Becomes Air” the next time you’re eating lunch at work.

Do not pack “When Breath Becomes Air” into your bag for your next trip.

It’s not that you don’t want to be seen with this book.

Continue reading “Why You Need to Hide Your Copy of ‘When Breath Becomes Air’”

R.I.P., Jackie Collins

Author Jackie Collins

I was saddened to learn this morning of the death of novelist Jackie Collins.

I’ve never read a Jackie Collins book.

Her subject matter – the beautiful and the decadent, the rich and the decadent, the famous and the decadent – well, you get the idea – has no appeal for me.

But I’m not oblivious to her impact her books had on millions of readers – and one very special person in particular.

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Ugly is as Ugly Reads: In Defense of E-Readers

The author and his e-reader.
Me, not getting prettier by the minute.

The tweet hit like a swat to the cheek.

“Reading books instead of Kindles can improve your memory, concentration, and good looks.”

And the source of this stunning wisdom?


You know, the social media site for book lovers, the one that bills itself as “the largest site for readers and book recommendations.”

My first reaction: Who now what now when now?

Continue reading “Ugly is as Ugly Reads: In Defense of E-Readers”