Monday, June 02, 2008

Magazine Junkie ...

As I confessed to you here, nearly two years ago, I am a magazine junkie.

I wrote then, "I tell myself that for every magazine I subscribe to, I have to let one go."

Yeah, that rule hasn't stuck.

I don't like cats, see. But I do like magazines. So instead of becoming a crazy cat lady in my fast-approaching dotage, I'll become the crazy magazine lady instead.

Actually, I can hardly be held responsible for my addiction. Subscriptions beget subscription offers. And most of the time, I can resist. Well, OK, I'll usually send away for the free trial issue, but I have no problem with scrawling "CANCEL" across an invoice and sending it packing in the postage-paid envelope.

But when a magazine offer is combined with a good cause? I'm sunk. I first subscribed to Better Homes and Gardens because my editor at the Tribune was selling subscriptions for her son, for a school fundraiser. Magazine for a good cause, see? And I've subscribed ever since. I've also added my mom and my friend Gemma to my tab over the years. I happily subscribe for all of us.

So you can imagine my dilemma recently when I received a solicitation to subscribe to a bevy of potential titles, all for only $10 each, to benefit breast cancer research.

Whenever I receive anything in the mail that contains those sheets of stamps, I feel compelled to study the stamps to see if I'm interested enough in the offerings to consider becoming a member of whatever club's at hand.

I believe this fascination with all things perforated and adhesive began early in my childhood when I would spy the Publishers' Clearinghouse stamps in the garbage. What the hell were my parents thinking?! They were throwing out stickers?!

Stickers are a very big deal when you're a kid. Even if you have to lick them yourself.

So I perused the magazine stamps and found many possible titles. I spread the stamp contenders out on my desk and began my elimination process. The offer restricted me to four titles. (Or maybe it didn't. I didn't read the fine print closely, but really, four new magazines is plenty.)

Today, the first one arrived: Newsweek. Doreen has shared copies with me in the past and I've liked it. And I thought it was high time to subscribe to a grown-up magazine. I've read a good chunk of it already. There's a polar bear on the cover!

I'll also be receiving Martha Stewart Living because I love what I despise, Everyday Food because I like to eat food every day and I flipped through an issue at Gemma's house last month and thought, "Huh. I should get this," and Glamour because I think it's good to have it lying around so that the opportunity exists for me to become glamourous by osmosis.

So then, the new subscription list looks something like this:

Cook's Illustrated: The best food magazine ever. Period.

Entertainment Weekly: Every week, in every issue, I immediately flip to the back page to see if Stephen King's written the final feature of the issue (he writes once a month, yet I look every week) and then I flip to the TV section to read Sound Bites, a collection of quotes from the previous week of TV, because they're funny.

Country Home: Pretty pictures for me to tear out every month and put in my "design" file.

Cottage Living: The new kid on the shelter-mag block (though not so new anymore), and, I have to say, the best of all of 'em.

Better Homes and Gardens: Always a good mix of house and garden features, with projects that don't require a degree in engineering or metallurgy to complete.

Ladies' Home Journal: Because I thought I might like to write for them (big-name mags pay well), but I got addicted to "Can This Marriage Be Saved?", not that I'm married. But I might be, someday. Though I'd love to see one of the therapists simply say, "No. No, I'm sorry. Your marriage cannot be saved. I'll send you my bill."

Fitness: A complement to my gym going, I thought. But I won't renew my subscription. I think the advice on food is half-assed. No self-respecting fitness publication should be advocating some of the crap in those pages. I don't care if it's low-cal.

Newsweek: See earlier comment about feeling like a grown up. And seriously, I felt the need to be better informed about, well, everything.

Martha Stewart Living: I don't like her as a person, but I love the ideas that spew forth from the minds of her minions.

Everyday Food: Another Martha title, but from what I've seen, the recipes are realistic. I watch the show on PBS sometimes, but sometimes they're just too damn enthused about everything. And the camera work bugs me. Seriously, I don't need to see them washing their hands.

Glamour: Because buying Cosmo immediately makes me feel like I should take a shower. And because I'm not part of the Cosmo demo: 22-year old, oversexed Size 0s who make $200,000 a year. Or those who wish they were.

And yes, I do recycle. And before I recycle, I share copies with others.

Any others I should be reading? As if I need to read more?


Blogger Mercurie said...

Entertainment Weekly is a must. I tend to prefer Time to Newsweek myself, but then I am satisfied with reading their articles online (their archives are amazing--everything from the very first issue). I might also recommend Reminisce (a nostalgia magazine largely devoted to memories of those years before we were born).

9:36 PM  

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