Tag Archives: attention span

So Many Issues, So Little Time

I love magazines.

Given my profession, I should rephrase that. I love magazines that I don’t have to write or edit in their entirety.

And although I love a good book,  I also love magazines.

Considering my attention span, that comes as no surprise. They are a very non-committal endeavor in that I don’t have to dedicate large chunks of time to enjoy them. A column here, a two-page spread there, visuals to draw me in and feed me bits and pieces of information with bright pretty colors and fun fonts. Aside from being peppered with rogue subscription cards as I flip through, what’s not to love?

Being the eternal realistic optimist, I have found something not to love.


All of these issues arrived on the same exact day.

While that might not have an effect on a less neurotic individual, we are dealing with me here. I subscribe to the four magazines above and also ESPN the Mag—it comes every two weeks instead of monthly. What that means is that a few days into a new month, I am suddenly overwhelmed with quality reading material.

It’s like I go from famine to feast and I suddenly feel the need to go on a bender and read everything, just because it’s there.

Each month I contemplate the option of rationing the issues out, but then I run the risk of rendering a timely story irrelevant.  (More with the sports magazines on this one, although it would be upsetting to be the last to know about anew use for an old thing if the old thing could be used in a new way relevant to my current situation.)

So I set them all on the table in my kitchen in no particular order and tell myself I will flip through them when I can, when the spirit moves me. This is much easier to accomplish when it’s warm out, as I can take a cup of tea and sit on my deck.

But in the winter, it’s more difficult. I will sometimes go to the gym and sit on a bike (going nowhere despite my enthusiastic pedaling) for 30 mins, driven much more by the desire to burn through the pages of the latest issue than to feel the burn.

I’ll get through one or two of the magazines within a week, but then I’ll start to feel like I should “save” the rest for a bit. What I’m saving it for I have no idea. I just don’t want to read the last one and then be without a magazine option.

What inevitably happens it that two weeks will go by and I’ll realize that I still haven’t read the latest issue of the one I was “saving.” It’s not that I didn’t have the time, but rather that I didn’t have the attention span—or the magazine got buried underneath a pile of other things thrown on the “throw all your crap here” table.


I told you I have issues.