"Readers of The New Yorker are characteristically a literary and durable bunch. It requires endurance to tackle the magazine's long fiction and investigative journalism. This isn't to suggest John Updike, Susan Orlean or Seymour Hersh should slash their word counts. It's just the longer pieces are one reason New Yorkers tend to pile up; most people haven't accrued enough vacation time to finish some issues. . . Given the magazine's imposing depth, it's no wonder many readers first flip to the cartoons. They want their dessert before the meal." [Baltimoresun.com]
Amen and Amen. I love the New Yorker. I love the cover art, I love the cartoons, I love the cultural commentary, I love the snarky movie reviews, I love the in-depth articles. However, it's not a rapidly browsable magazine. Last year I struggled with whether or not to renew my subscription. I had a good year's worth of unread or partially read issues stacked up and a new baby. What were the chances I'd have time to read it? So, I didn't renew. I do miss it. The old ones are interesting -- I'm working my way through the backlog, skimming, tearing out short stories, poems, articles to read "sometime" -- but I miss getting a fresh new issue every week in the mail. I decided that if I can get through the backlog in time, I'll subscribe again as a birthday gift to myself.
The magazine has recently begun running cartoon caption contests on a regular basis. Check here to submit your own caption, vote for finalists, or see winning captions from earlier iterations.