Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Weekly Geeks: Magazines

This week’s Weekly Geeks theme has to do with the magazines we read. Dewey provided a meme to help prod participants along.

For each magazine you want to talk about, here are a few questions. Answer as many or as few as you want.

1. Name of magazine.
2. Do you subscribe or just buy it now and then?
3. What’s your favorite regular feature in the magazine?
4. What do you think your interest in this magazine says about you?
5. How long have you been reading this magazine?
6. Is there any unique or quirky aspect to the magazine that keeps you reading?

My interest in magazines tends to come and go. There are times I go magazine crazy and will subscribe to everything under the sun that sounds interesting. At least until I realize I am not actually reading the magazines, but merely stacking them in piles to read later. Only, the piles get higher and higher. Then I go through a minimalist phase, where I cancel my subscriptions or let them run out, keeping only those I actually do manage to get to in a somewhat reasonable amount of time. At the moment, my magazine subscriptions fall somewhere between the two extremes.

I prefer taking out subscriptions to buying off the rack. A part of my brain believes I save money that way. Another part of my brain thinks my husband (a buy off the rack sort of fellow) has the better idea. He buys what he wants when he knows he has time to read it. It seems the wiser course. I am not always so rational. There is also the fact that I like having the magazines arrive in the mail, a little something special to look forward to besides bills and advertisements. Mail delivery is convenient. No trying to find time to run to the store to pick up the latest copy of a favorite magazine. No worry about the store running out before I can get there.

I prefer reading books over magazines, which is one of the reasons magazines tend to pile up rather than be read on the spot. It took me a long time to realize that I didn't need to read a magazine straight through, much less read every single article. I figured if I spent the money on it, that's exactly what I should be doing. There are three magazines I subscribe to in which I do tend to read cover to cover--not because I feel obligated but because just about every article interests me in some way. Those are the real treasures.

Magazines are great to read in a pinch and prove to be effective fillers for short waits or in between book times. Magazines don't draw me in as fully as a book might, and so they also make handy reading when I need to stay alert to my surroundings or am having difficulty focusing.

I currently subscribe to a number of magazines, three of which cater to the reader in me.

Bookmarks Magazine and Mystery Scene both offer book reviews, book related articles, and interviews with authors. Bookmarks appeals to the general reader in me, containing information about all sorts of different types of books; whereas Mystery Scene speaks to my inner mystery lover.

I am fairly new to World Literature Today. I like it well enough, but sometimes the articles aren't always appealing to me. It could be that it is a bit too academic for me in some respects or more involved than what I am seeking from my magazine reading at the time. I do enjoy flipping through the magazine though and often find articles that do interest me. I am especially drawn to the reviews.

One of my favorite magazines and probably the one I am most up to date with reading is Entertainment Weekly. The brief articles and pop culture focus make it irresistible. My favorite section is, of course, the book review section, but I am quite fond of the movie reviews as well.

How could I forget The Strand? Probably because I have only yet received one copy. It's a new subscription to a magazine filled with a little bit of everything having to do with books, especially mysteries and short stories. I have enjoyed what I have seen so far.

I also subscribe to Harper's Magazine, Consumer Reports and a couple of journals related to my field of work. These in particular tend to collect dust until an opportune moment arrives when I make time to read them. I do enjoy the lengthy articles in Harper's and find Consumer Reports to be quite informative.

There have been other magazines over the years that I have subscribed to of varying kinds and topics. I once was on an animal kick and subscribed to a number of magazines related to cats and dogs. I have tried a few of the women's magazines out there but have yet to find one that satisfies.

Just a quick reminder that I am hosting two drawings which can be found on Sunday's Post titled Sunday Salon: In Between Books.

There are two separate contests and participants may enter one or both. The only catch is that participants must answer a simple question. If you answer the question, you will automatically be entered into the main drawing for a book of your choice (limit up to $25).

For a second chance at a prize, you can also enter in the drawing for one of the ARE books I am giving away. In the case of the ARE Giveaway, simply tell me which ARE books you are interested in winning and I'll add your name into that drawing as well.

The deadline is coming up this Friday so come on by before then to enter the drawings!


  1. Your post resonated with me, Wendy. I also tend to go through phases where I subscribe to a gazillion magazines, and then cancel them! *laughs* I used to get People every week (a true guilty pleasure) but finally canceled my subscription because the cost is so high...but I miss it! I know what you mean about WLT - I pick and choose the articles to read and I love the book reviews, but sometimes it is a little too intellectual :)

  2. I used to go through phases like that, but now I just occasionally accept a free magazine subscription, enjoy it, and let it run out. I know, what a user. LOL Right now, it's Metropolitan Home and Climbing. I don't climb and I don't live in a metropolitan area, but I like looking at the houses, reading green ideas for decorating, etc. And, Climbing is just a hoot. Those people are nuts, but what I've learned is that they know it. The photos are spectacular.

  3. I'm bad about letting magazines pile up as well. I was wondering if WLT would be a bit on the academic side. I was debating subscribing or not but think I may hold off since I don't really need more unread magazines! ;)

  4. If blogging has cut into my book-reading time, it has put my magazine reading into a coma. I barely subscribe to anything anymore.

    But having said that, I will keep my Entertainmnet Weekly subscription forever, since my husband reads it more than I do lately.

  5. Entertainment Weekly is one of my favorites - my sister and I split a subscription and have for years. I would be lost without it!

  6. I think I clicked off my comment. I love EW, it's the only reason I know anything the music scene nowadays. I've gone from maybe 14 subscriptions to about five and three of those are quarterly.

  7. World Literature Today sounds interesting, I may have to check it out, thanks :)

  8. Mystery Scene sounds good to me, Wendy! I'll have to check that out. As for Bookmarks Magazine, I'm still considering whether or not should I subscribe to it. I can see a lot of fellow bookbloggers subscribing to this one. :)

  9. Oh, I totally love the Oxford American! It used to be published in Oxford, Mississippi (not the other Oxford) and it's devoted to Southern culture - full of quirky stories, both non- and fiction, and great photos. Plus, once a year they do an incredible CD of Southern music and it'll be everything from Jayne Mansfield to Emmylou Harris with some early REM thrown in. Totally worth the subscription fee!

  10. I haven't read a magazine in a couple of years now. I used to love them but they eventually just became a waste of money since I stopped reading them and started feeling bad about throwing them away. I have to admit that your list does sound really interesting though :)

  11. Yet another glowing endorsement of Bookmarks. Looks like I've been missing out.

    Animal magazines leave me conflicted. They can make having a dog and/or cat seem so much more expensive with all the goodies to try out, and the friendships between people and other animals are often all but invisible. There are exceptions - I do think BARK! can be charming. (just not charming enough to buy ;) )

  12. I love Bookmarks! It's one of those magazines I don't subscribe to just yet, but it's really only a matter of time.

  13. My problem is that I get magazines and then rarely have time to read them, as you hint. . . Perhaps I should emulate your husband more in this regard.

  14. I have maintained a very bizarre, love-and-hate relationship with magazines. I like how magazines quickly draw me into lighter reading when I can't have the undivided attention on books, but at the same time I don't want to spend all my time reading magazines and not books. I canceled all but one magazine subscription--Airliners, a monthly periodical on commercial jetliners--something that can keep me piqued for at least a month since only 10 issues come out in a year. I read Cargo, Details, and Travel when I'm at the salon or when I visit the cafe.

  15. I, too, have a love/hate relationship with magazines. Right now I love them but am rather choosy - I subscribe to:

    *Body + Soul
    *Cooking Light
    *Family Circle
    *Woman's Day

    and share a subscription with my daughter to:

    *Ready Made

    and my SO receives a sailing magazine as well.

    Quite an eclectic mix there, think my magazine tastes are reflective of who I am at the moment, what my focus is.

    when the pile gets too high, I go through and tear out the articles/recipes I want to read (except for Victoria, I leave it completely intact)and put them in a file to browse later.

  16. Wendy - There are so many magazines out there that cater to my different interests. It's hard not to overdo it sometimes. I really do need to be more like my husband and buy off the rack when I get in one of my must have magazine moods.

    I am glad I am not the only one who feels that way about WLT. I do enjoy it just the same though.

    Nancy - That's probably a good way to go about it. :-) I get ads for one free issue for a magazine now and then, but I've never pursued those offers.

    Nat - It's easy to do, especially because I always reach for the book over the magazine when I want something to read.

    If you want, I can send you my copy of WLT for you to sample. Just let me know!

    Florinda - LOL That's a great image! And probably more true for me than I like to admit.

    EW is the one magazine I subscribe to that my husband reads faithfully too. He sometimes will read Mystery Scene.

    JanieJane - It's a great magazine. It keeps me up to date and isn't too gossipy.

    Carrie K - I've been paying closer attention to the music section in EW lately--even tried a few new artists based on the reviews.

    I have the worst luck with the weekly magazines--except for EW. They pile up the quickest so I tend to avoid those.

    Kathleen - It's quite informative and definitely worth a closer look!

    Melody - I love Mystery Scene. It is a bit on the expensive side, but it feeds my mystery news craving. :-) Bookmarks is popular. I enjoy it.

  17. Clea - I haven't heard of the Oxford American, but I'll have to check it out. It sounds like a good one!

    Jen - I know what you mean. When I start feeling that way, that is usually when my subscription numbers drop drastically. You'd think I'd remember that when I sign up for the next magazine, but I obviously haven't learned my lesson.

    Debra - Bookmarks does seem to be quite popular by the looks of it.

    I agree with you about animal magazines. I think that's why I have trouble sticking with them. BARK! is one I subscribed to for several years and I really enjoyed it. I occasionally will pick up a copy now and then, but, sad to say, I have a tendency to forget about it.

    Andi (Estella's Revenge) - I actually had a subscription to it years ago but decided I preferred Pages much more and so let my Bookmarks subscription end. Now that Pages is gone, I've rediscovered Bookmarks.

    Andi - Two Andi's in a row! :-) I should be more like my husband too. Even if the magazine seems more expensive off the rack, sometimes it really isn't when I think of all the magazines I let pile up unread.

    Matt - I am the same way in regards to magazines. I think of magazines as being good for light reading, but ultimately, I always will pick the book over the magazine.

    Rapunzel - Sharing magazines is a great idea. My parents send my husband their issue of Military History every now and then. Might as well get the most for their money.

  18. based on your comments i think i would like World Literature Today. And I keep hearing such raves about Bookmarks. I'm going to have to give them a look-see as my grampa used to say.

  19. I always forget about The Strand! That is one magazine I hardly ever see at the bookstore I frequent. Actually same thing goes for WLT... I've thought about subscribing to it but then I feel like I already subscribe to so many that I shouldn't :)

  20. Joy Renee - I do hope you will check them out. The two magazines are very different from one another. I think World Literature Today is a more involved and intellectual magazine whereas Bookmarks is more commercial. I get something different from each of them and enjoy them both.

  21. Iliana - I actually forgot about it and had to go back and add it in! I've only received the one issue so far, but it seems like a good one. I think you may have been the one to turn me onto both WLT and The Strand.

  22. I subscribe to Fit Yoga and Yoga Journal. As for other lifestyle mags, I usually buy them off the newsstand if they catch my attention...

  23. Alice - I've always been curious about yoga but have never really pursued it.


Thank you for taking the time to visit Musings of a Bookish Kitty. Don't be shy! I would love to hear from you. Due to a recent increase in spam, I will be moderating all comments for the foreseeable future. Please be patient with me as it may take a few hours before I am able to approve your comment.