There was a time when I was a self-confessed magazine junkie, but in a effort to reduce my paper waste, I’ve let most of my subscriptions expire over the past few years. Fortunately, two of the best magazines covering utility cycling, A to B and Velo Vision, are both available online through a service called Exact Editions. Exact Editions “brings magazines to the digital age” by offering online subscriptions to popular magazines across a wide range of subjects.
So how does it work? Once you pay for a subscription, electronic issues are loaded into a secure account area where you can read full versions of the current issue and back issues (depending upon the magazine, back issues may go as far back as 7-8 years). As new issues go to “print”, they’re automatically added to your account area, and you continue to have access to all back issues as new issues are added. The electronic editions are usually available before the print editions, a selling point for those who anxiously await each issue.
The Exact Editions interface is one of the best online magazine interfaces I’ve seen, providing the ability to zoom each page and navigate through the document using embedded hyperlinks, spread thumbnails, and navigation buttons on the interface. In my opinion, the EE interface is even better than a high quality, fully bookmarked and linked PDF document. The page scans are high resolution, and if you have a high quality monitor, the reading experience is arguably as good as reading traditional paper magazines.
Electronic subscriptions are a great way to reduce paper waste and the pollution associated with printing and shipping. And as an added bonus, Exact Editions subscriptions are less expensive than comparable paper subscriptions offered through magazine publishers. Highly recommended.