January is with us and once again I am asking if I need to subscribe to one of our monthly genealogy magazines.
Of those that I see regularly on the newsagents’ shelves, I suppose Who Do You Think You Are? draws my attention more than others, but I am unlikely to take out a subscription.
Leaving aside the rather unattractive marketing of these magazines and the difficulties they share when trying to make reading a magazine a more useful experience than web-browsing, I still have that feeling that they are all irritatingly light touch. Just look at the lack of depth and length in the articles.
Surely, it is a sorry state when genealogical journals published more than one hundred years ago remain more absorbing today than the current batch of magazines. Put simply, there is more to them, more in them and more about them. It is unusual for to me spend an evening with one of these journals (and, let’s be honest, I would be hard pressed to read one thoroughly in one evening) without being fired up to follow some alternative idea or source. So often, I get to the end of one of their articles with a feeling that I have really enjoyed the experience of reading it.
My fear -and I’m not sure about this – is that the current breed of magazines are more superficial because genealogy has become more popular, less studious and more superficial. I may not find the answer to that question comfortable- so I won’t ask it.