Do you still read magazines? I don’t. Not really. I think the internet has ruined it all for me. Or maybe I’m just a burn-out who doesn’t get nearly enough sleep, and can’t focus anymore? I’m not sure. Both explanations feel valid to me.
…Wait, what was I saying?
Yes, at this point I only subscribe to one magazine: Rolling Stone. I bought the subscription through eBay, and paid something like $9 for four years. And that’s not an exaggeration: nine or ten bucks for four years.
So, Rolling Stone arrives in our mailbox every couple of weeks, and I browse the album reviews in the back, and never read another word. Usually I don’t even read the reviews, I just check out how many stars they’ve awarded each new release.
I can’t remember when I actually sat down and read a full article in that magazine. I’m sure some of them are good, but I can’t be bothered. Plus, the way they inject politics into every goddamn thing irritates me:
“Universal has announced they’ll be releasing all six of the original Partridge Family albums later this year, in deluxe remastered collectors’ editions. And we can’t help but wonder if this is a reaction to the Bush administration’s stubborn refusal to address climate change in any meaningful manner…”
Yeah, I made up that quote, but it’s not far from the troof. RS can blow it out their ass with the politics. Seriously.
Toney subscribes to several magazines, mostly about cooking and travel. And she reads them, too. Plus, she keeps Entertainment Weekly a-coming to our house, and that’s a must-have for anyone who craps. It should be renamed Crapper’s Companion. I’m a big fan of EW. Especially after three or four cups of coffee.
Some magazines I’ve subscribed-to (and loved) through the years:
Rolling Stone — I’ve been getting it off and on since I was about 14, and used to really like it. The classified ads in the back were always great, just chockfull of excellent kookery.
Esquire — Another magazine I’ve been receiving off and on for many years. They cover stuff I don’t care about, like fashion and “fragrances,” but nearly every issue has a couple of articles I enjoy, as well. Even today. I picked one up recently, and found several things I wanted to read. You know, tomorrow or the day after.
Trouser Press — A great, defunct alternative music mag from the ’80s. Subscribers got a flexi-disc with each issue, not available to the newsstand suckers.
Sports Collectors’ Digest — I went through a five year (or so) white-hot baseball card frenzy, and got REALLY into the hobby. Whenever a new SCD arrived in the mail, I’d immediately attack it with a yellow highlighter, like some kind of crazed meth freak.
But when you’re buying cards, you’ve gotta be fast; those who snooze will end up crying like a punk bitch. Indeed, the magazine offered a special upgraded “First Class” subscription, for a ridiculous amount of money. But you’d get every issue in a fancy white envelope, a couple of days before everyone else. And how’s that for a great scam?
The Trader Speaks — Another baseball card publication, catering to the more accomplished collector. I couldn’t afford most of the stuff advertised in the mag (the contents of Babe Ruth’s stomach upon death, or whatever), but read every word of it. It also smelled really good, I remember. It was blue ink on cream-colored paper, and smelled fantastic.
Baseball Digest — Nostalgic articles about baseball, inside a little magazine the size of TV Guide. I learned a lot from Baseball Digest, and subscribed for many years. Does it still exist?
The Sporting News — A weekly newspaper, catering to people who love statistics. If, for instance, you were curious about who had the highest on-base percentage among left-handed batters with a middle name that starts with R — The Sporting News was where you’d turn. The scary part? I used to care about all that stuff.
Factsheet 5 An independent magazine that reviewed independent magazines. It was another one I’d always attack with a highlighter… F5 went through several publishers over the years, but was really good for a long time: the self-publisher’s bible.
I still have all my old issues, and the earliest were printed on a dot matrix machine, if you can believe it. The Surf Report is mentioned as far back as 1985. Almost a quarter century ago!
I also bought a lot of mags at the newsstand, but never subscribed for whatever reason. These included Creem, Flipside, National Lampoon, and Mad.
But now? I don’t read much of anything, unless it’s on a computer screen. I’m even starting to have trouble with books, which concerns me. Since my mid-twenties I’ve always had a book in-progress, on the nightstand. And now I’m struggling…
What are your reading habits at this point? Do you subscribe to any magazines at this late date? Which ones? And do you actually read them? What about books? What kind of books do you read, if any? I’m still buying books, for the record. That’s something that hasn’t slowed-down, much to Toney’s disappointment.
Also, since I mentioned Crapper’s Companion, what reading material do you take with you to the small room? It’s very important that we know.
And I’ll be back tomorrow with an old fashioned end of week topic dump. Oh, the topics are starting to pile up, and require a dumping…
See you then!
Evil Twin's Wife says
When my magazines started to pile up, unread, I realized I could let those subscriptions go. I used to love magazines and books, but haven’t read either in the longest time. What happened??? :::shrugs::::
My husband gets Bass Fishing and 2 other sports related mags. Together, we get so many freaing catalogs that I don’t even bother with magazines anymore. Don’t want to break the postal service person’s neck and back.
Books? I’ll read anything. Prefer history, historical fiction and a decent biography. Don’t try to shove some tabloid piece of shit on me. Mackenzie Phillips? No thanks.
Mr.Man and I don’t subscribe to any magazines but we pick up Mental Floss, Smithsonian, Fate, Reader’s Digest and Yankee magazine when they have something that interests us in them.
I am a book hound and buy books almost every time we go to an antique shop or flea market. I read constantly and have several books in the house and one in the car. I’m never without a book. And I don’t read that mushy love crap either…
I have a puzzle book filled with crosswords, criptoquips and anagrams…plus a few poetry books, Bukowski, Whitman, Frost and Sexton to name a few.
I was getting Family Circle but the articles weren’t really holding my interest so when the subscription ran out, I didn’t renew it.
I wouldn’t mind getting Mental Floss and Yankee sent to the house again. They’re both favorites.
Er…the puzzle book and poetry books are for those special moments in the crapatorium…I kind of forgot to add that part in my comment.
USA Hockey (comes with the membership, but I do read through most of it)
Journal of Forensic Science (just read the sections that interest me)
ASTM Standardization News (comes with the membership, flip through it out of obligation)
occasionally pick up the Onion (OK, that’s sort of a newspaper, but I think it counts)
Much more of a book reader. Just finished In the Woods by Tana French – excellent mystery novel
Just started The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds
On the porcelein throne – I pass the time deleting the emails that have built up in the Blackberry
I currently subscribe to five magazines, all of which end up in the crapper somehow!
I am also listening to one audio book and at night I read a novel before bed. I am enjoying both.
A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving (Unabridged audiobook)
Henderson the Rain King – Saul Bellow
Now Playing on iPhone: ‘Alive and Kicking’ – Simple Minds
Jason got me thinking about my own personal porn collection, which consists of cookbooks for German pastries and cakes. Blackberry Chocolate Tarts. Apple Cake with Warm Vanilla Sauce. Espresso Mascarpone Cake. Pear Streudel. Baumkuchen. Banana Toffee Cake. Sweet Dessert Perogies. Hazelnut Creme Tarts. Plum Nests. Spring Gateau. Sachertorte. Apricot Marzipan Cake….
I get nerd magazines. Nuts & Volts, Servo, Make, and Solar Today. Every now and then I pick up a Scientific American or Pop Sci/Mech.
Last thing sent here to read…The Onion. Back in the day…Omni, Discover, Nat Geo and RS. Back, back, back in the day…Scientific American, basically to justify my geekness. I did read them. I kept the latest four issues on display on the coffee table mixed in with Psychology Today…right next to this really cool bong I had.
We get magazines-5 or 6 a month. Food porn, Martha, Southern Living, 1 semi-porn Maxim or something like that.
I believe I might have mentioned this before–husband has all the National Geos since 1961. Every issue. Except the one he loaned to someone in 1989. Still bitches about that one. Stacks and stacks and stacks. Covered in fuzz balls and dust. Taking up space.
WB in OH,
There’s a cedar wrapped Ashton that’s to die for. I also smoke lots of Romeo y Julieta. The Cuban thing is bullshit, at least in this day and age. Try your hand at Arturo Fuentes when you get a chance. Very good cigars.
Is The Oxford American popular with gays or something? I still don’t get it. I’m not a gay. Sorry to browbeat you but you’ve got me worried.
Oh…three letter word for jail…can. Yep, crosswords in my private moments. L.A or NYT. Those drugstore books are lame. And books?…I’m lame at that. Last one I read was “Undaunted Courage” about Lewis and Clark. Now I want to read their actual journal.
WB in Ohio –
You didn’t ask me but I’ll offer wrt cigars:
Montesino #1 or #2
It’s a good Dominican cigar that has a Connecticut-shade wrapper. It’s fairly mild but not “wussy” and runs about $4 a piece or $75 for a box of 25. Most cigar shops should have it or buy from Famous-Smokes in Easton, PA.
Popular mechanics is excellent for “library” reading
Oh! One crapper magazine that I subscribe to and forgot about is the Ham-liker Shy-liker, or whatever. Fantastic. I sit there thinking about a way to buy a $200,000 submarine that has GPS. You know how much weed I could move across the Rio Grande with that thing? That’s what I tell my wife. She’s still not convinced. But I still have my eye on it. It’s batman shaped fer chrissake! Well worth $200K
Trisha aka Mrs. Wally says
JCIII- I got swindled by one of those outfits, too. Bullshit, I tell ya.
I have a huge stack of them next to my dresser. That i never read. I need to pitch them so the husband will quit bitching about them. I did get him Maxim, and he reads every issue.
I play mahjongg on my phone in the crapper. Maybe I should take one of my 200 magazines in there with me?
Car and Driver (and their BMW and Corvette crush) is the only mag I read currently. Dropped TIME about 10 years ago when I recognized their reporting bias. I’m a traveling reader..love Clive Cussler, Tom Clancy, Stephen King and the like but the only time I have to read is while flying.
WB in OH, I’ll jump in on cigars…Arturo Fuente, Ashton (made by Feunte), AVO, Partagas Black Label (love me some maduros), and my favorite, a Cuban Montecristo #2…and yes, there is a difference.
Greg in Cincinnati says
I used to read Nat’l Geographic and Newsweek. If I had more stones, and less desire to hold a clearance I would read “High Times,” available online at: http://hightimes.com/
Can the Feds find me here? Dial 99999 if you are paranoid…
Playboy had a great article by Kurt Vonnegut before he died. I don’t like airbrushed women purchased by old men, so yes, when I do read that mag, I read it for the articles.
I love magazines, and I am very much saddened that they’re on the way out. I appreciate the convenience of the digital age, but ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always believed there was nothing like getting a new magazine in the mail and sitting down to flip through it.
I’ve been a Cooks Illustrated subscriber for many years. I currently also get Make Magazine and The Art of Eating, both gifts last xmas. I used to get Brewing Techniques – great magazine, but they went under and are now only a website.
Books: I have many, mostly fiction. I’ve been an avid reader since the 1960s. In grade school, I got in trouble for having a novel concealed in my “reader” – a juvenile Heinlein to be sure, but still. When I was traveling a lot for work, I would pick up another Ludlum for each trip. When I ran out of Ludlums I switched to Tom Clancy. When Clancy began to suck, I had to improvise.
Currently in the middle of “Homer and Langley” by E. L. Doctorow. I like Stephen King’s Gunslinger series, and reread it every few years. Same for Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle series (plus Cryptonomicon).
Madz1962, the Stephenson is an outstanding work of historical fiction IMO. Check it out if you haven’t already, especially if you’re a geek. It’s set in the surprisingly action-packed period of late 17th – early 18th centuries. I recommend starting with Quicksilver. OK, suspend your disbelief that one individual could have known so many famous people, but it’s well-written and a lot of fun.
Seriously, I credit my parents for getting me and my siblings to take literature seriously, and most of all to read – and learn – for fun. Both of them were (and are) “literature people”, and made sure there was good reading material around when we were kids. So of course I grew up to be an engineer.
Greg, you have reminded me of a buddy of mine back in the day. He had a TS and a job that required it. A few years into it he was filling out some form DD-somethingorother (reinvestigation? renewal?) and decided to tell the truth: “why yes, I’ve been getting high this whole time”. He lost his clearance and job, and now owns a coffee shop (not the Amsterdam kind). Can they really screw you just for *reading about* it? How about that self-censorship.
69th!! (love that number)
Well, let me see…I do not take any magazine’s or newspaper etc to the bathroom and for Jeff’s amusement… well…Internet ruins the day again. I cannot picture myself going into the crapper without my cel, I can’t help it, I do have IAD (Internet Addiction disease). It’s just the fun or God knows what, convenience whatever you wanna call it, but I love to read my email in the crapper (probably I can just tell apart the bullshit emails from the god ones, or the ones from my boss, …God knows some of them go right into the crapper Ha ha) But that’s it that’s my reading material…I just bring the cel phone with me and find something interesting to do,
remember granola and yogurt it’s a pussy breakfast! (nothing beats meat and eggs)
I am never without a few books going. Every now and then I can’t seem to focus enough to read, but if I find something that fits my mood it gets me primed again. I mostly feel better about reading nonfiction, because I’m learning something. If fiction isn’t well-written, it’s a waste of time. I like reading about science – Richard Dawkins especially is a beautifully lucid (and very readable) writer and thinker.
I like to peruse magazines but they’re so damned expensive at the newstand that I usually don’t buy them. Used to read Newsweek but got sick of the bias. Can’t abide Rolling Stone for the same reasons as Jeff.
Right now I’m reading stuff by Michael Connally – pretty good crime fiction.
Like Jeff I buy more books than I can read. I satisfy my buying urge at Goodwill most of the time so the damage isn’t too great, and you never know what you’ll find.
I quit reading Rolling Stone when they switched over to covering movies and video. Never did get around to ordering the white louvered sunglasses in the classifieds.
I used to be a magazine junkie. “All of them.” I don’t read in the small room. It doesn’t take me that long. Books. I wish I had kept a list of all the books I’ve read. Many times I start a new book, get to Chapter 2 and then think, “shit, I already read this one.” I used to think if I started a book, I absolutely had to finish it. Now that I am older and wiser I don’t waste my time. I need a good book to read right now.
White Trash Barbie says
I read lots of books. Primarily fiction. Recently I have been trying to read classics that I didn’t read when I was supposed to and also to read the books on a list of the top 100 classics (I think the list I am working from is one that Random House created).
Magazine subscriptions. Not so much. Used to subscribe to the Atlantic Monthly, and I really enjoyed it, but it was a gift, and when the subscription ended I decided that instead of paying for it myself, (jeezum crow I am cheap) I would just read it at my mom’s house because she gets it too. So now we are down to just getting Red Tipped Hooters Monthly.
How can you *not* read the articles in Rolling Stone?!? Matt Taibbi is a great writer and is able to explain complicated subjects with ease (good article recently on the financial crisis). I also subscribe to Fast Company, Inc, Allure, Town & Country, More, Birds & Blooms, Architectural Digest, and Country Living.
WB in OH says
Brynhildr-RE: Porn list, Yeah Baby!!!(In my best Austin Powers voice)
To all on the cigars, thank you, I will let yoou know how I like them.
Which reminds me I never reported back on the Famous Grouse; Excellent Value!
Reader’s Digest but usally only on the head. If you remove the 3rd 4th 5th and 6th letters it says Red’s digest.
And a bi-monthly panphlet called Short Talk Bulletin from the cult (some think) I belong to – The Freemasons.
Shiny Rod says
Darn, I do read a coupa tree magazines, Disaster Recovery Journal, Keyboard Player and Guitar Player Magazine. Don’t stay in the shitter long enough for any reading.
Chill – thank you for the recommendation. You’llprobably enjoy Caleb carr’s first 2 works: The Alienist and The Angel of Darkenss. They were excellent.
May I also say THANKS to everyone here. I’m pretty new and you all made me feel right at home. I think my first post was about cutting out the 45s on the backs of cereal boxes!
Alice in WV says
Brynhildr’s porn list was getting me a little hot, too, WB in OH. whew!
Hey Madz1962…I’m up here on the third floor watching the Rockies ball game. Say hi as you go by.
Hi DTO. What’s the score?
Alice, WB — Do you think it’s bad form to hand a guy one of my cookbooks and say, “You wanna learn to talk dirty to me? Here, read this aloud.”
Jimmy Kuhn says
I get a metric shitload of magazines delivered. I much prefer reading on paper than on a screen. A Kindle makes me go bleugh.
I do not read the articles/propaganda in RS. Matt Taibbi is nothing but a thinner version of Michael Moore, likely with better personal hygiene too. I get the real news from Fox, thankyouverymuch you whiny liberal elitists.
WB in OH says
Brynhildr-Absolutely not. I can picture it. A roaring fire, a nice bottle of 30 year old Port, big ol’ comfy couch and reading aloud… 4 oz. couverture, 1/2 cup soft butter… (in my best Pepi LePew voice) ohh laa laa!
The way I met my wife went something like this:
“Do you know how to make pigs in the blankets?”
“I guess I’ll take you then.”
And that was that. We’ve been eating pigs in the blankets for 10 years now.
Alice in WV says
and he’s wearing an apron. just an apron. maybe an oven mitt
@ Jason- Didn’t mean to leave you hanging. I have no idea whether or not Oxford American is popular amongst “the gays,” I thought you may have had something published it it, that’s all.
@ Limey- Amen. Matt Taibbi gives me a pain in the ass. He wants so desperately to be the new HST. I’ve got news for you, Matty: I once made a drunken phonecall to HST, and you are no HST. As to getting your news from Fox, well, I’m afraid we part ways there, though I do love watching Fox and Friends for the sheer entertainment value.
WB in OH says
Alice-maybe a faux bearskin rug apron. Oh, I might wear that inside out!
I’ve never written anything meaningful. They are having a contest where the winner gets $50K and gets published. Maybe next time.
Being immature and loving Metal, I was subscribed to Metal Edge….gone, Pit…..gone, Mojo, Revolver, BWBK, Decibel, and Metal Hammer, I love Mopar magazine, Popular Mechanics, In Readers
digest. I love taking the vocabulary quiz, and all of the funny stories. I am reading David Sedaris Naked and Nikki Sixx’ Heroin Diaries currently. I buy way too many books. I could not possibly read them all.
Jason, your velveeta story was very meaningful.
I couldn’t agree more with Jeff’s opinion of Rolling Stone. Every frickin’ article or review has to have a political component.
I love magazines. Here are the ones I read on a regular basis…
Mojo – Great music mag. Covers artists that resonate with me.
Uncut – Ditto. Also does a great job covering movies and books.
Classic Rock – Covers artists of the past and current bands that continue to carry on that era’s vibe. This magazine and the previous two are British publications. They all kick any American music magazine’s ass.
The Big Takeover – The only American music mag I buy. Only comes out twice a year. And it takes about half a year to get through it! Jam packed with articles and hundreds of reviews. A great read.
Esquire – Always thought provoking and always contains info I can apply to my everyday life. Although I can do without the articles about what color ascots are in for this season.
I used to read Entertainment Weekly but it now seems geared toward twelve year old girls. And it also, like RS, has an “agenda”.
I hadn’t thought about Baseball Digest in years.
Maxim is just frustrating. The women in there are just about as naked as you can be without being naked. Just buy a Playboy.
It always cracks me up how excited some men get about the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. This is titillation for guys who’s wives won’t let them bring a Playboy into the house. Pussywhipped!
When I read a book it is almost always non- fiction/ pop culture/ biography. Couldn’t tell you the last fiction title I’ve read.