Since “Playboy” recently published its final print issue, and since I’m reading a biography of publishing magnate Conde Nast on my tablet, I felt it appropriate to share my misgivings about magazines.

During the research phase of this column, I developed severe writer’s cramp while standing in a bookstore frantically scribbling down the names of the mind-numbing array of specialized-yet-overlapping periodicals. (Luckily, one of the magazines was the April issue of “Your Right to Loiter in A Bookstore If You $#@& Well Please Illustrated.”)

Maybe I’m overly nostalgic for the days when millions of Americans watched the same three TV channels and read the same general-interest magazines (“Life,” “Look,” “Family Circle,” “Saturday Evening Pliers for Changing TV Channels,” etc.). But I’m alarmed by the wretched excess of niche magazines for every hobby, profession, ethnicity, travel destination, political persuasion, vehicle ashtray model and level of skill at making bridesmaids’ lives a living hell.


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