The reason I like magazines is because you get such a diversity of information. Plus there are always pictures - nice and glossy.
I like books too, very much in fact. I have found it difficult to find good books on cycling. Yes, there are several, but I find that there are also a lot that appear as though they would be good and are not. I'll do a top 5 and bottom 5 of my personal recommendation on that before too long. But I digress.
Magazines are better around water, like at the beach or in a canoe, or maybe camping. If books get wet and dirty they can be tough to read, whereas magazines seem more resilient. Magazines sit open whereas books "snap" shut all the time.
As far as the discipline of cycling goes, I have two examples below. Nothing groundbreaking here, I'm sure you've all heard of these two.
I like Urban Velo because it has a significant part in each issue dedicated to the regular "joe" answering the question why he/she enjoys cycling in the city. It is also available online for free. You don't actually have to subscribe, although I'm sure they'd like you to.
They have very interesting articles even though some diverge into hipster-type stuff that's a little to contemporary of a scene for me.
Pretty sure that Bicycle Times is well established now. There's usually one or two articles that I'm not interested in but I will devour the rest, every time.
Neither of these has much, if anything, to say about carbon fiber, and none of the issues are ever "buyers guides" (those are so useless in my opinion).
I also enjoy Momentum from time to time but it seems to cater more to women and the chic movement.
Finally, there is a magazine out of Toronto that looks very intriguing but I'm at a loss to find it in my bookmarks right now.
If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them. Particularly if they are available online.