Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Too Much Information

When I was in the eighth grade, my Sunday school teacher handed out paper and pencil and asked us to list all of the magazines and newspapers to which our family subscribed and to put stars by the church-related publications. My family of five (mother and four kids - my dad died at the beginning of my seventh-grade year) had over 30 subscriptions, about a quarter of which were church-related. In fact, our church-related subscriptions outnumbered most other kids' total subscriptions. Mind you, some of ours were leftovers from my dad, but still....

Here we are, three-and-a-half decades later, and my husband and I have a LOT of print subscriptions. There are four weekly church-related subscriptions, alone. We subscribe to political, general interest, and craft magazines. We subscribe to locally-produced magazines as well as internationally-produced magazines. When you add in the various organizations to which we make contributions (and which generously send us newsletters), we have a lot of print to plow through regularly.

In addition, we both read online. I love SLATE and I read blogs and other news sources. My husband has a similar full diet. There does come a point where one feels overloaded. A couple of weeks ago, we went out and purchased a new side table for the living room. That new table promptly made the mess on the coffee table unbearable. I went through the accumulation and tossed without sorting. A year's worth of assorted magazines I "meant" to read went in the trash. Oh, what a feeling! Now, the "coffee table books" can actually be seen, and the only magazines there are the ones that have arrived in the last month. Sometimes, you have to declare "printruptcy" for the sake of mental peace.

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