I Never Met a Magazine Subscription I Didn’t Like by Deb Jess

I subscribe to WAY too many magazines. When some hit my mailbox, I will trample everything in my path to read them: Country Gardens and Organic Gardening are the biggest culprits. They are the glossy, professionally-bound crack of my magazine world. I devour them in an hour, drooling over the lush garden photos, dog-earing pages I wish to revisit, dreaming of the day when the pages will be scratch-and-sniff. Because somewhere along the line, my gardening gene became activated and now there’s no stopping me and my filthy trowel. (Unless I have a baby, and then it’ll be like compost-schmompost. Mom, don’t get all excited.)

When other magazines arrive, I place them on my kitchen table for temporary holding while I mentally map my plan-of-attack. Will I read them during an upcoming two-hour car ride? Keep them in the bathroom to give guests the impression that I’m more interesting than I actually am? Parcel out the reading in easy-to-digest nightly morsels? Usually, I adopt a combo-approach for the more article-heavy players: Rolling Stone, Utne Reader, Mother Jones, Newsweek, Vegetarian Times, Wisconsin Trails. Through the years, Self, Fitness, Shape, and Glamour have also graced my doorstep … and then there are those that arrive because I donated to one group or another: OnEarth, Sierra, The Nature Conservancy magazine, Audubon.

I know what you’re thinking. Is this chick like, president of the Dennis Kucinich fan club or something? But here’s the thing: I don’t even LIKE the smell of patchouli, and tie-dye patterns give me a headache.

Anyway, we used to get Entertainment Weekly too, but it got to be too much. I simply CAN’T watch all of the recommended television or movies, CAN’T read all of the reviewed books, or I’d have to eliminate something else from my schedule, like reading the rest of my magazines.

And then there are the magazines that strike fear deep in my heart upon arrival. These are the magazines you’d think I’d dive into first—the writing mags. Somewhere along the line, reading Poets & Writers, The Writer, and Writer’s Digest became a little like exercising. I know it’s good for me, but I’ll do anything—scrub toilets, organize my sock drawer, run for mayor of a mid-sized city—to put them off just a little longer.

I think I know why this occurs. It usually happens when my day job is at its most demanding. It’s painful to read about something I’d rather be doing right at that very moment. Also, I like to study the articles contained within; you need to concentrate to do this, and this is hard because at times, my brain enjoys impersonating a hot air balloon floating over Burning Man.

Or maybe it’s a left-brain / right-brain thing. I like writing, but reading about the logistics of writing and promotion can feel like studying for a test. But it’s a very important test. So I’ll never cancel my subscriptions. Plus, if I didn’t get Writer’s Digest, how would I have discovered this entertaining fellow?

11 Replies to “I Never Met a Magazine Subscription I Didn’t Like by Deb Jess”

  1. I linked that guy and saw the hippo story–if you haven’t seen it check it out!
    I fully understand your addiction. Nothing a few children can’t kill off readily. I used to be a magazine junkie but have weaned myself off all but the most important (People and US) and only then when I’m lured into them at the grocery store check-out line. Just can’t resist learning the latest legal maneuverings of Kevin Federline, after all 😉

  2. We have combined magazine junkies in this house- thus my Writer’s Digest and O magazine scramble for space with his Discover and Circuit Cellar. I’m sure our mailman thinks we are very interesting people.

  3. I was never much of a magazine fan (except Reader’s Digest) until I had a baby. Now I have such a short attention span or short amount of time to read that I am really enjoying magazines more. And I personally keep them in the bathroom because that’s the only place I can get time to myself. 🙂

  4. Eileen’s very proud father:
    patchouli=worn by hippie-chicks to mask the aroma of bong water breath back in the early 70’s. And while it may have successfully masked that odor, it lent an air of cheap french hooker to those who wore it 😉

  5. Jenny, I love your definition. Andrea–I have STACKS of magazines in the bathroom too! LOL I was just a little afraid of getting into that too much. Eileen, we used to get Discover, too. Jason also gets Mac Addict and MacWorld and now a bunch of XBox gaming magazines are mysteriously showing up….

  6. Great post, Jess! I don’t subscribe to the crack-like magazines only the ones that “strike fear in my heart.” Maybe I should reverse that (so I don’t have to pretend I like standing in the longest line at the grocery store).

  7. Ahhh, bong water breath… um, I mean heh, cheap french hookers…um, no, NO! I mean, ahhhh, patchouli. Lovely, lovely patchouli. Magazines were a real attraction for me in my youth. I especially loved MacLeans magazine that I think is in the main only available here in Canada. Many a long 10:30-10:45 morning break spent catching up on what Trudeau and Mulroney were up to. And girls actually dated me later on in life. I should have never recovered from that. Now, much to the detriment of many forests, it’s newpapers. It’s gotten so bad that we had to basically ban them from the house. So now I go online to find out about the ins and outs of professional dogfighting (horrifying, truly crazy stuff), or that going out to sew up the hole in the space shuttle was deemed too expensive so they didn’t do it. But mostly, news is pretty depressing. Gotta say I love the New York Times Magazine.

  8. I can picture it perfectly, Jess! Although I tend to buy mine because I have a weird aversion to the mail–ie I can’t seem to mail things and therefore any subscription I have tends to die even if I intend to renew it!

  9. Magazine editors should check out the posts for this week and breathe a sigh relief that you’re all subscribing to the real thing…i.e. rather than those online editions that only clutter up your “Bookmarks.” 😉

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