What have you read lately?

This question made me take a serious look at my priorities. When asked,”What have you read lately?” I could only respond, nothing.

That was a hard admission. I consider myself a reader, but I’ve been too busy to read. What does that really mean? It means I’ve found other ways to spend my time.

I don’t regret wedding planning instead of reading. Bike riding, traveling, hiking, outdoor activities, writing…all good uses of my time.

However, there’s been plenty of time to waste on Facebook. Time to waste watching television. Time to play games online…but no time to read?

After admitting I’ve read no books recently, using that busy excuse, I did say I’ve become a magazine reader…and that’s true. Thanks to the Marion County Public Library and the Zinio app, I’ve discovered and read magazines I’d have never tried, and since I access the magazines on my phone or iPad, I don’t have to deal with all of the paper magazines piling up.

I’ve read Backpacker, Handyman, iPhone Life, Mother Jones, Outdoor Photographer, Writer and Yoga as well as the more traditional “women’s” magazines I’d read in the past. I’ve found I really enjoy magazines, but since my admission of taking a break from reading, I’ve taken action.

I dusted off the books on the nightstand by my bed, charged my Kindle and downloaded the audio book, The Boys in the Boat, for a Spring Break trip. Does that count?

Busy is no excuse. It’s time to get my priorities straight. Thanks for asking what I’m reading.

 

 

 

Thumbs Up for Next Issue

The Next Image icon
The Next Image icon

The alert on my calendar indicates that it’s time to make a decision about Next Issue. Three weeks ago I signed up for the free trial of the Next Issue app and since I entered my credit card information at the time, I set an alert to make sure I cancelled before being charged. Now, three weeks later, I’ve decided to keep this app. I’ve read more magazines in three weeks than I’ve read in three years.

The Basic Plan includes unlimited access to over 70 titles including one year of back issues for each title. Better yet, the print content is enhanced with digital features which make for a better reading experience.

I knew I’d read Real Simple, HGTV, and Southern Living, but I’ve also enjoyed Fitness and Health.  What I’ve found most surprising is how much I’ve enjoyed reading Fortune, Money, and Inc.

A few of the titles available on Next Issue
A few of the titles available on Next Issue

Occasionally, I pick up a magazine while waiting in the checkout line at Publix, but they don’t offer the selection; and I can’t remember the last time I drove to the bookstore to purchase a magazine.

The best surprise so far has been Inc. It’s a magazine I’d never read but have thoroughly enjoyed…reading three back issues. So the verdict’s in. I’m going to keep this app. The $9.99 monthly payment is less than the cost of any two magazines purchased at the newsstand, and I’m able to share it with my family since the subscription can be loaded on five devices.

This one earns a thumbs up!

Next Issue earns a thumbs up.
Next Issue earns a thumbs up.

Next Issue

The Next Image icon
The Next Image icon

Last weekend I downloaded a magazine app called Next Issue. They offer a one month free trial, and even though I had to enter my credit card information so it could be charged next month if I fail to cancel (something I usually refuse to do), I felt it looked like something I would enjoy. So, I downloaded, registered, and set an alert on my calendar to remind me in three weeks to cancel if I decide this isn’t a service I’ll use.

Next Issue offers unlimited access to digital editions of popular print magazines. Entertainment, craft and hobby, family and parenting, health and fitness, food and cooking, business and finance, and automotive are a few of the categories included in their collection. Money, Southern Living, Fitness, and Real Simple are among more than seventy-five titles available. And not only do you have access to the current issue, but to all back issues for the past twelve months.

I’ve read Southern Living, Fitness, Eating Well, Rachel Ray Every Day, Bride, and Real Simple since downloading. I know for sure I’ll never go back to print editions. I’ve always hated the way magazines stack up, but I have a difficult time throwing them out… which is no longer a problem. (I never would have purchased six magazines in one month!) But the best thing about the tablet editions it the extra content. Videos and interactive features make the digital format much better than the print.

A few of the titles available on Next Issue
A few of the titles available on Next Issue

Now for the bad news. The cost of monthly access is $9.99 for the basic plan – all of the magazines I’ve mentioned and a total of about fifty or $14.99 for the premium plan which includes additional weekly magazines like Sports Illustrated, Time, People, and The New Yorker. But despite the price, I think I’m going to continue the subscription. I’m currently paying for three magazine subscriptions at about $60 per year so if I use that toward Next Issue that pays for six months. As a bonus I won’t have magazines spread all over the house. And finally, the app can be downloaded to five mobile devices which means all members of my family will have access to all of the basic content. Now that makes the monthly price a bargain for me…especially because there’s no continuing commitment. I can cancel at any time. I’m looking forward to adding magazines to my reading list.