My Presbyterian Outlook subscription expired sometime in 2009.
I can't recall exactly when. I have a pile of subscription notices asking me to renew. Each notice was placed in my "get to sometime" stack in my filing system without engendering any desire to write a check for another year. Sorry, but the Outlook's lifeless black and white covers of odd pictures, along with editorials I found tiresome, never-used International Bible Study lessons and a back page of pastoral ending and beginnings of people I don't know just wore me out.
My first subscription to the Outlook began as a freebie for seminarians. In the late 70's I was interested in the magazine. Over the years, and especially in the last five or so years, I read fewer articles. I began throwing away copies after glancing through the pages. I should have known what this meant.
Loving magazines is part of my DNA. Throwing away copies is not a good sign. As the child of a father who kept stacks of Life, Saturday Evening Post and National Geographic on bookcases in his workshop, I value the printed page. National Geographic's from the 1920's survived past his death in the 1980's and were thrown out, mostly intact in the mid-1990's when my parent's home was sold.
All magazines are troubled these days. I'm sorry about the hard times of magazine publishing. I doubt many will return when the economy improves because we've learned to get our content from the internet. I think I kept up my subscription to the Outlook because I want places for people to start conversations and discuss ideas about the Church. The Christian Century fits my needs in this arena.
But, I feel odd about putting an old friend out to pasture.