Thursday, December 14, 2006
latest assault in my ongoing war on paper
(asterisks old, checked boxes renewed)
I just renewed my membership in the American Sociological Association. I cut my number of journal subscriptions from five to two (American Sociological Review and, proud to say it, Contexts), which is the minimum needed to have immediate online access to the rest. Subscriptions to academic journals aren't cheap, but I'm fortunate presently to have a research account that I can use pay for my journal subscriptions. The bigger problem: I don't want them! I want the shelf space, and freedom from the weird mental obligation of maintaining a complete run of some journal on my shelf even though, when I do want to read an old article in a journal I own, I usually still just look it up online so I can print out an 8x11 copy and put it the appropriate project binder once I've marked it up. Indeed, most of my journals are back in Madison and I haven't missed them at all.
BTW, when I was in graduate school I snapped up a nearly complete 30+ year run of ASRs from a retiring professor. A few months later I thought: What the hell is the point of having these? and sent out an e-mail to the soc grad student listserv asking if anyone wanted them. Of course I got several immediate replies. The guy who took them who had spent several years in the past living under a false identity while wanted by the law under his real identity, and he was doing his dissertation on "false identity" by interviewing various folks who knew him back when he was someone else. Sociology. I don't know what happened to him.