Can One Be a Magazineaholic?

NowThisLife.com - Magazine Covers
Each month a stack of glossy monthlies lands in my mailbox--first a trickle, and then, finally, a deluge. Ron got five subscriptions free as a perk at work and I can't seem to resist the incredible Amazon subscription deals. ($5 for a year, $7 for two years!)  Each one is a promise of a little slice of time to myself, some beautiful pictures, a lunch out at Centro with an iced tea, an evening in bed with the book light shining over my shoulder.

I've loved magazines as long as I can remember, starting with the National Geographics at our house and the Redbooks, Reader's Digests and National Enquirer's at the babysitters'. Not to mention my Dad's Playboys, which back in the 70s were casually displayed on the coffee table. Quite an education I received at their hands, from "Can This Marriage be Saved" to the "Playboy Advisor" with some snarky celeb gossip and alien abduction stories on the side.

Afternoons when I was eight, I'd hunker down on the grass next to yet another babysitter, while she sunbathed for hours (slathered in baby oil of course), my assignment to read out loud to her from Teen. Completely mesmerized by the advice columns, I pored over the answers as if they were tea leaves portending my future.  Later, I fell in love with Seventeen. August was the best...a satisfyingly thick tome filled with all things back-to-school: plaid skirts and sweater sets, backpacks in every color, how-tos on decorating your locker and looking good in your school picture (little did I know then that it was a model in the photo..before and after "styling"), advice on nicely turning down a boy's unwanted invitation to prom stored away for my dreamed of future.

Over the years, I've watched myself grow up in their titles...Highlights, Teen, Seventeen, Glamour, Omni (anyone remember that one?), MacWorld, Cosmo, Vogue, Inc, Brides, Martha Stewart Living, O, Cooking Light, Sunset, Parenting, Family Fun, Better Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful, Good Housekeeping, More.

They've kept me company, my magazines. I know the fonts and the layouts, spot a revamp immediately, smile at a freshening up or a new columnist, mourn the moving on of a favorite editor. I tear out articles to save and pictures to paste in my scrapbooks, then stack the issues up in a paper bag to pass on to the thrift store or the library. At this point they are like old friends.

Right now, there are twenty one magazines each month: Vogue, Vanity Fair, Good Housekeeping, Clean Eating, Bazaar, Sacramento Mag, Comstocks, Inc, O, More, Shape, Better Homes & Gardens, Vegetarian Times,  Sunset, Chloe's American Girl, Ron's Entertainment Weekly, plus the Martha Stewart Living and House Beautiful my mom gives me when she's finished with them. I try to keep just the latest issue so that they don't take over the house completely, but still, they are everywhere. Vanity Fair in the bathroom, four Comstocks beneath my desk at work, the stack of Cooking Lights I need to pull recipes from, Martha Stewart barely glanced at before I relegate her to the finished pile, just to be done. Some of the articles don't even get read and when, once in awhile, I pull an old issue from the garage pile, I barely remember having looked at it. Very few photos are torn out for my scrapbooks; my pile of unread books waits, untouched.

Each month, they come...an onslaught, a flood. Remember The Little Prince and his rose? Amazon's cheap subscriptions have given me too many roses. I'm not savoring them anymore; instead the monthly stack feels like one more thing on my already too long to-do list, glossies scolding me from their perches.

Too much, too many, they overwhelm.

I want them to be the gifts that they once were. The slick feel of the paper, the gorgeous photos, the inspirational articles, the sense of promise when I open a cover. A mini vacation in their pages.

I'm ready to look forward to savoring my friends again, to taking them off my to-do list. The best of these, I'll keep...O, More, Vogue, Better Homes & Gardens, Inc, Sunset. The rest, and it's an embarrassingly long list, I'm ready to let go.


                                                                                                          This post inspired by Mama Kat's Pretty Much World Famous Writing Workshop


  1. Fabulous. Very easy to relate to, especially your "over-load " period. Someday, someday...

  2. Came here from mamakat. I love the new blogs I find from her. she's got a good eye. pleasure to meet you.


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