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I have a love/hate relationship with the Atlantic. It is, for my money, the most balanced and well-researched mag out there. Literate without being masturbatory like the New Yorker, the Atlantic helps me stave off stupidity.

But oh, the hate.

You sit down with your massive new issue. Maybe you read a poem as a warm-up. And then you roll up your sleeves and read a fascinating article about the childhood of some Russian drug smuggler who assists Venezuelan orphans, and you think "This is so fresh. I would not read this in any other magazine." And an hour later, you're still reading it. You twitch. You riffle forward through the pages, doing a quick "How long is this motherfucker?" check. And just if you're wondering if the smuggler is really years-off-your-life interesting, you hear the phonebook-like thump of the next issue of the Atlantic hitting your doorstep.

I gave subscriptions away at Christmas. Allie is already two issues behind.