Should I subscribe to Vanity Fair or the New Yorker?

Whenever I’m stateside I pick up copies of these august publications, but they’re not easy to find on this side of the pond - I tend only to see them at airports or train stations - so I’m thinking of subscribing. However, my budget does not run to two, so I’m looking for opinions on which one I should favour.

My opinions, based on not a great deal of reading:

The New Yorker has great fiction, reviews, and op-eds, but seems totally up itself with regard to the NY art scene.

Vanity Fair has great investigative journalism, reviews, and op-eds, but seems totally up the ass of celebrity and haute couture.

Right now I’m tending towards The New Yorker, but would be interested to hear opinions before I spend my cash.

Vanity Fair has better photography, if you’re into visuals.

I love Vanity Fair. They have very insighful articles about current events and pictures of very pretty people. It’s perfect!

Well damn, I suspect this thread is moot, as I can’t find anywhere on the internets that would allow me to subscribe in the UK. Poo.

For a non-US subscription or to subscribe to the UK version of Vanity Fair, check here.

For a non-US subscription of The New Yorker, check here.

I would say it depends on what you want to read. I perceive, as you do, that Vanity Fair is more entertainment industry/couture oriented. This does nothing for me.

I also don’t know that I’d give the edge on investigative reporting to VF. Seymour Hersh, for example, publishes in The New Yorker… The fiction can also be very good.

You should subscribe to both (I do). But if you’re going to subscribe to only one, make it The New Yorker. Vanity Fair is too celebrity obsessed. (For a while, under editor Tina Brown, The New Yorker was too.)

The New Yorker. I used to think it was so NY-centric (and why shouldn’t it be?) but in recent years, it seems to have shifted focus ever so slightly to include more of the nation and the world. The Iraq reporting is very good, as is the humor.

Celebrities you can see anywhere.

Thank you all. I am going to go for The New Yorker, though the price is a bit higher than I expected, so will hold off for a month or two.

I love the New Yorker. It’s not terribly expensive and it’s such a damned good magazine. The Cadillac of bathroom reading, if you will.

I agree with this. Vanity Fair is way too celebrity ass-kissy for me, and I think The New Yorker is the best periodical showcase for wrtiting talent that exists.

The New Yorker is more expensive because it’s weekly rather than monthly, so you get a lot more articles for the same period of time, and a lot less photography and ads.

Having been a VF subscriber, then switching to the New Yorker a couple of years ago, my main complaint is that I have a hard time finishing an issue before the next one comes. I always wonder what brilliant piece of writing I may have missed because I tossed an issue before I was finished.

VF is fun, but the New Yorker makes me feel smarter. :smiley:

The New Yorker is consistently excellent, but is also consistently out of touch with about 99% of humanity. Their writers think that everyone makes at least a half million dollars a year, has a full time nanny for the kids, and spends the entire month of August in the Hamptons or Saratoga. They are so elitist that they don’t even realize they are elitist.

I like the New York Review of Books.

Looking at the recent reporting and essays in The New Yorker, I don’t see any elitism at work, unless elitism means an intelligent curiousity about today’s world.

Good choice. Vanity Fair is thick with ads and The New Yorker might be hoity-toity, but it has great cartoons.

I get so behind on the NYer that I find myself heading first for the letters section, to see what they’re talking about from previous issues that I might be interested in reading.

I used to get them both. VF had good stuff some of the time, but the celebrity-awe bit got to me. The first issue I got after the last time I resubscribed had Paris Hilton on the cover…followed in short order by Lindsay Lohan…which is why it was the last time I resubscribed.

Back 15 or 20 years ago, when the New Yorker was a lot fatter, I made it a point to read every word of every issue. I soon had a backlog of a year. I didn’t subscribe for some of the time that woman was editor, and I caught up. Now, I just read the really interesting stuff, which is usually over half the issue.

I’ve never even looked at VF, and can’t comment.

Any examples? I find far more elitism in the NY Times, with its $1000 clothing and recipes with ingredients found in two or three stores in Brooklyn. The New Yorker doesn’t even run the Christmas shopping articles anymore.

Well I just said screw it and went and abused my credit card. The first issue of the New Yorker “should arrive in six to eight weeks” which is a bit much, but since the earliest issue I currently possess, in its rightful place in the bathroom, is dated May 2006, I guess I can wait a little longer.