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August 28, 2011

Sunday Book Thread

I've got three books going at the moment: the second novel of F. Paul Wilson's "Repairman Jack" series, Legacies; Mark Steyn's doom-mongering tome After America; and Paul Scott's The Jewel in the Crown. I've got the Steyn book for the Kindle, but the other two in dead-tree editions: paperbacks are still the way to go if you're a cheapskate and don't mind buying used.

I've also been working my way through the most recent edition of The Fretboard Journal, which I often refer to as "guitar porn". It's a high-gloss quarterly that focuses on stringed instruments, and it's sort of a throwback to the old "craft magazines" you used to see before most of that stuff moved to the Internet. It focuses on builders and collectors as well as players, and features sumptuous photography -- it's sort of like Vogue, only featuring guitars instead of slinky European models.

I don't subscribe to many periodicals any more. The Internet made a lot of the magazines I used to subscribe to superfluous. I wonder if tablets like the iPad will lead to a renaissance of the old "magazine" format -- I kind of hope so. I like magazines, at least good ones. They're like a quick snack instead of a full meal, as a book is: you can read it when you have a few free moments here and there and then pitch it out when you're done with no guilt. Also, many smaller "hobby" magazines never made the transition to the internet for whatever reason -- cost, lack of technical skill -- and I've missed some of them. I still get a music magazine called The Banjo Newsletter which takes me right back to the old days: it's printed on newsprint, has songs and music tab along with the articles, and has a back section dedicated to letters and buy/sell ads. It bridges the gap between a "fan-zine" and a glossy professional magazine. I love magazines of this kind. It wouldn't be the same if it were internet-only.

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posted by Monty at 09:04 AM

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