Friday, August 14, 2009

Magazines and Me

I woke up this morning thinking I should stop getting magazines. I’ve always been a bit of a magazine freak, but these days I can’t keep up with them at all. I subscribed to Family Circle, Women’s Day, and Good Housekeeping because I’d like to write something for them. The issues come in every month, and I never read them. I used to like GH, but I never seem to have time now.

I get O (Oprah’s magazine) because I love the quality of the writing (she doesn’t use freelancers, so that lets me out) and the subjects, but I hardly ever open the magazine. They're so big and glossy and packed with advertising. Not quite like Vogue (or how I imagine Vogue), but rather intimidating when it comes to a quick perusal.

I've always subscribed to Country Home and Country Living. Country Home is gone now, a victim of the economy. The current issue of Country Living is out on my porch, open to an article about raised vegetable beds, dahlias, and an impossibly rich couple who love to entertain on their rickety old wooden table surrounded by rickety wooden chairs, all outdoors with grape vines dripping around their heads. It sounds like I'm keeping up (with the magazine, anyway), but the fact is about a dozen back issues of Country Living sit in a copper coal scuttle on my hearth, still in their plastic wrappers.

At work at the library, I read a magazine while eating supper at my desk (actually my co-worker's desk because it's not so visible). I go through The New Yorker, Time, and Newsweek every week, and The Atlantic Monthly, Psychology Today, Agricultural Research (really!), and sometimes Ebony and Advocate every month. You know, looking at this list, I'm thinking maybe that's why I don't read any magazines at home.

My magazines at home end up in stacks where they don't belong and are in the way. It's not a good situation, and that's why I was thinking this morning that I might do well to get rid of the whole bunch of them. Then I got an email from Amazon.....

Amazon said my recent electronic purchase (a case for the computer my son is building for me) entitled me to half off their already discounted price on a selection of (you guessed it) magazines. I was about to delete (honestly!) when I saw the word "photography." My lifelong interest in photography received the equivalent of a shot of steroids this year with the shows I did. And I've been asked to do two more next year. So it would be nice—very nice—to read about photographic techniques and equipment on a regular basis. Like every month.

Okay, I'll cut to the chase. I ordered two photography magazines. One qualified for the half-off offer, and one........well, it didn't. And I threw in a subscription to Popular Science for my son. I have no idea if he'll like it, but he's a born scientist and hey, it was only six bucks.


The Cookbook Junkie said...

I hate buying or subscribing to magazines but I love reading them, especially at the gym. I get so excited when I see a new magazine at the gym. Sometimes I get so desperate I end up reading something like Arthritis Today. At the gym I read all the trashy rags I'd be too embarrassed to buy.

Lately I've been digging magazines out of the recycling bin at work. I'd take some of those magazines off your hands if I were closer.

crystal said...

I used to get magazines too and never got around to reading them. finally let them go. I think part of the reason is that now I can look up so much info online that I used to get from the mags. My grandmother used to get Ladies Home Journal and Redbook, which I read cover to cover when I was growing up :)

Susan said...

Arthritis Today? A copy of that magazine is sitting on my dining table....because I got it free from work. LOL

Crystal, I think you've hit the nail on the head. When I first encountered the Internet, more than 20 years ago now, I said it was like sitting on the floor surrounded by magazines. (That, in my mind, was a good thing.) I think that's why I'm not reading the real thing anymore like I used to.

Dona said...

I like the idea of getting magazines and reading them by the fire, or in a quiet living room on an evening, but like Crystal, rarely get around to reading them. The only magazine I'll read cover to cover is Bookmarks.

I used to subscribe to many, but now it is only Bookmarks.

Mali said...

I can't keep up with magazine reading on the internet let alone the hard copies, but I have a subscription to Cuisine magazine (a great foody magazine in NZ) and read it and use the recipes. But they're so good I can't bear to throw them out, and I have years and years of them, and so they're taking over my house. I was hoping you had a solution for me! ;-)

Indigo Bunting said...

Because I read for a living, I've pretty much let magazines go. I wish I had time, but sadly, I don't. The photography mag sounds perfect, though...

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