Love letter to magazines


fake mag cover.jpg
Silly magazine cover courtesy of BigHugeLabs.
I've recently re-discovered my love of magazines. I've long been a magazine lover. My subscriptions to Sassy and Rolling Stone were lifelines when was a preteen and teenager in Elkton. I even wrote my senior thesis at Reed about Ms. magazine. In the years immediately post-college, I remember working the "free trial" system to get months of free issues, then canceling as soon as I started getting charged for them. I'd read anything I could get for free--Maxim, Catholic Digest, Runner's World, it didn't matter--and if I couldn't stomach reading it, it was always good collage material. It was at that same time that I discovered the magazine recycling bins at the public library, where you can get old issues of all kinds of weird things for free.

In recent years, I've been flush enough to actually pay for my subscriptions, and happy to do so, as the magazine, like the newspaper, is threatened by online competition. Mark, too, is a lover of magazines, and visiting his family has shown me that he came from a magazine loving people as well. So, I decided to share with you a history of our lives in lists of magazine.

Magazines that were around my house when I was growing up
Reader's Digest (I still miss the Word Power feature)
Sports Illustrated
Ladies Home Journal
Field & Stream
National Geographic (my grandmother used to read this to my infant brother)

Magazines that were around Mark's house growing up
Better Homes & Gardens
The New Yorker
The Economist

Things haven't changed that much--I'm pretty sure I saw all those titles at Mark's parents house this visit, along with Vanity Fair, Wired, and at least two floral design titles. My folks still get all the old favorites as well (besides maybe SI, they may have let that lapse), and have added a couple more outdoorsy titles and Every Day with Rachael Ray.

As for Mark and I, we run a magazine heavy household as well. It started with a flurry of more indie titles, most of which aren't even around anymore (anybody remember Nervy Girl?). Slowly, we've built up an arsenal of favorites, and a list of titles we've tried that just don't work for us. As I'm doing annual re-subscriptions, I'll share our lists.

Stuff we have previously subscribe to but don't anymore
The Economist
Travel + Leisure
Gourmet (RIP)
Cooks Illustrated
The Atlantic (formerly Monthly)
Food & Wine
Real Simple
Mother Jones

Stuff we get now
The New Yorker
This Old House
Ready Made
The Bark
Martha Stewart Living

Stuff we're going to try or re-try this year
Real Simple
National Wildlife
Portland Monthly (that oughta make me nice and homesick)
Anthology (I'm really excited about this one)

Finally, a list of titles I've loved and lost (because they don't make them anymore)
Budget Living
No Depression

So tell me--what do you read religiously? Pick up on occasion? Miss ferociously? Let's hear it for magazines


Have you ever read Yes magazine? It's a good magazine about progressive people doing progressive things and making a real difference. I think you might like it.

I like mother earth news occasionally...but I love reading about how to do farmsy/green/hippie kind of stuff.

How are you liking readymade these days? I used to LOVE it, but then started to feel like it was getting awfully bougie...the projects seemed to be expensive and difficult, the people they were interviewing seemed pretty richy rich...I don't know. It almost didn't feel like DIY anymore. Do you get that impression at all? Maybe I was just in a mood or something. ;)

I love magazines. I don't subscribe to any now. I save them for special treats. I still love Elle after all these years. I love RealSimple. I love the gossip rags (worst of the worst, I'm aware). I have a collection of Cook's Illustrated that I treasure.

One magazine that's gone that I loved so much was called "Kitchen Gardening" by Taunton Press. I have them all. I had to get many of them as back issues.

I have to say the only things we are subscribed to these days are The Oxford American (southern lit) and Entertainment Weekly. I used to sub to so many of the magazines on your list but some went bad (Remember when Real Simple was actually simple and not about buying "essential" $500 blouses?) or have pissed me off somehow because I'm more of a 2nd wave feminist than a whatever it is the people at Bust and Bitch are.

My subscribed-to list is similarly long, possibly longer - to the point that one of my resolutions a few years ago was to significantly cut back on my subscriptions.

We actively subscribe to:
Vanity Fair (which I love and find more manageable than The New Yorker)
Whole Living
Bon Appetit
Beer Advocate

We've been gifted:
Cooks Illustrated

I miss Blueprint, and I'm considering reupping on Real Simple.

ugh, too bad. It seemed like it began to change right when i subscribed, of course.

If Make is good, will you post a review? I'd love to hear what you think of it. :)

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April 2012

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