We live in Italy and we currently have subscriptions by mail to three British magazines: The Economist, The Tablet and the Times Literary Supplement. They all charge a premium for posting to Italy, and they arrive in a very strange order. The Tablet gets here usually on the Saturday one day after its Friday publication in the UK. Presumably it is printed on the Thursday. The TLS usually gets to Florence five or six days late. Thursday this week. The Economist seems to be the slowest of all, usually arriving a week late, as today. This is too slow for a topical magazine.

I have a sneaking suspicion that The Tablet may be making a special effort over Italian distribution because of its strong Roman audience. Its a pity, in more ways than one, that the World Bank and the Nobel Prize for literature are not also based in Rome or Milan.

It is high time that these excellent magazines had proper digital editions. Then there could be no complaints about slow delivery. They all offer their print subscribers certain priveleges from their web sites, but these repurposed web sites are confusingly different from the print publication and limited. They are none of them a patch on the print products. Sigh…….