So I'm going to 'admit my dirty little secret' ...
A -long- time ago ... at least a decade and perhaps more than 2 decades ... I dropped ALL of my magazine subscriptions.
Why? They kept piling up without being read. Then I'd go on a binge for a single evening and catch up on -several months- of MR and RMC. Obviously I wasn't 'reading every word and looking at most of the ads any more. So I bagged the subscriptions. Right at a time in my modeling life when I was ramping up on more and more time spent on the hobby!
Some of the broad spectrum of reasons are:
1) I'd been in the hobby long enough that my modeling skills and interests had 'matured'. (Please don't show this to my wife ... she might die laughing at my use of that term.) As in - the repeating articles on the same old topics didn't interest me any more.
2) The ratio of the content to ads of the mags had changed - significantly - in the wrong direction. Not only were they devoting more and more pages to all ads ... but the articles and columns were getting shorter and shorter.
3) The articles and columns seemed to be less and less relevant (I'd moved more towards "prototype modeling" and away from "just model trains").
4) I asked myself how valuable were the mags (to me) if I could catch up on as much as 6 months or more of two magazines ... in a single evening. For about 10 seconds I debated "which one to keep?" and then as soon as I said to myself "why not drop both" the decision was made.
5) Many of my friends had subscriptions and when I went to their house I could catch up ... in the free time between the parts of the conversation I was interested in ... so I didn't 'need' my own subscription.
6) At one point I didn't read any of the mags (any where) for about 18 months ... and didn't seem to miss it. When I discovered that it had been that long I didn't "panic".
7) I had discovered and started to use Yahoo groups. STMFC among many.
8) Quite some time after I dropped my subscriptions the online mag "MRH" came out. (Isn't in just a bit interesting that none of the hobby mags have decided to try out the MRH model in a serious way? Old habits -are- hard to break.) But even that I don't "read every month" ...
So do I wish for the mags to continue. Yes ... but only sort of ... as in - if they went back to more content and more of the content was more relevant to my interests (prototype info, ops, and DCC/electronics).
I'll creep back into the dark corner of the train room for now ... thanks for listening ... hope my 'secret' didn't shock you ... too much ... - Jim Betz