Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It Appears That I'm a Junkie

So I was straightening up our living room last week because our apartment is on the market, and really, all it ever feels like I do is straighten up our living room, but as I was doing so, I encountered masses and piles and stacks of magazines: some new, some old, many unread, frankly, many untouched. And while hints of my problem have danced around corners of my mind in the past, last week, it became unavoidably apparent: I am a magazine junkie, and it's time to quit. Or at least slow down.

So I counted. And it seems that I subscribe to about 20 magazines, which means, because a few of these are weeklies, that I'd have to read about one magazine a day per month to keep up. Which is just insane! I mean, I barely have time to take one shower a day, much less read that much per day. I do most of my mag reading in the gym, and even in a 45-60 minute workout, I can't get through an entire magazine (not to mention that I often grab mags there - or if I run on the treadmill, I don't read at all - which only contributes to my backlog), so it dawned on me last week that it was time for an intervention. Namely, as many of these mags send me note after note, begging for renewal, I'm going to have to just say no. Not this year. Not my $12. Not because I can't spare the $12. But because I can't take the clutter! I can't take the guilt of the magazine cover looking longingly up at me from my coffee table or my dining room chairs (more piles there) or my nightstand, crying, "Please read me!," and me promising that I will, knowing in the back of my mind that I really probably won't and it's just another obligation on my to-do list. So goodbye many of my old standbys that I've subscribed to for longer than I can remember. Goodbye. It was fun while it lasted. But to be honest, I'm not sure how much I'll miss some of you.

It has occurred to me, however, through this cleansing process, that there are a few magazines that I can't live without. And while I'm cutting back, I'm certainly not cutting myself off. (Egads! I'm a magazine writer for cryin' out loud! No way could I go or would I want to go cold turkey!) I'm whittling the list down to 12-15 or so vital mags - ones I actually look forward to getting. But if I had to choose just two or three? Well, I'd say that Women's Health and Entertainment Weekly will basically get a lifetime pass from me. I'll be 92 and still reading them. Fear not subscription departments - you'll always have my credit card!

So...how many mags do you subscribe to and which ones could you absolutely never give up?

13 comments:

Tiffani said...

I'm with you on Women's Health. I also like Oxygen, Woman's Day and The Writer. Oh, and Men's Health & Men's Fitness... um, I should stop now.

Sue said...

The sports rags stay. I tried giving up Sporting News about 3 times, but I always come back because I love the off-season coverage of baseball and football. I won't give up MORE (now that I'm old). I started on my purge, really, that if I don't read it the month it comes, I don't renew it. But I may have to get a sub to Women's Health to read at the gym.

Julie said...

I am exactly the same. I subscribe to at least 17 magazines that I can think of right now. I couldn't live without Gourmet, Food and Wine, Self and Glamour. I just had a really hard time narrowing it down to those four. On a different day, I'd probably give a different answer.

Lisa Bakewell said...

Magazines! I was just doing the magazine "sort" yesterday. There are three different places that my magazines go, based on how old they are, before they make it to the recycling bin.

I love magazines and I justify my addiction based on the fact that I'm a magzine article writer--too bad I'm still not writing for my favorites-- but that's where the research (subscription justification) comes in.

My Favorites: MORE (me and you, Sue), Women's Health, Shape, Self, O Magazine- not crazy about the show anymore, but I love the mag, and Good Housekeeping- maybe that's an age thing too.

Trish Ryan said...

Isn't it amazing how selling an apartment brings clutter tendencies into sharp relief? The summer we sold our condo, I was forever shoving magazines and unfolded laundry in the dishwasher as prospective buyers came up over the stairs :)

Last night I was reading O Magazine, which weighed approximately 40lbs. I love it, but it's a workout. I also love Men's Journal (great writing), MacWorld, and The New Yorker (although it comes weekly and tends to pile up unread...)

Kristina said...

None. Yes, that's right, I subscribe to none. That being said, I have gift subscriptions to 3 magazines that friends have bought for me.

I don't subscribe to any because a) I worked in a library and read all the magazines on my breaks, b) I don't have a very big house and I hate clutter, and c) I can't justify spending money on things that I just won't read again after the first time.

I no longer work at the library, but I still go to the library once a week to read magazines and borrow books, etc. and just to get out of the house (I work from home now).

I like the gift subscriptions I do get because they are more resource materials than just pleasure reads. I get 2 regional gardening magazines and Writers Digest -- 2 things I love.

JenMiller said...

Woman's Health, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Lucky (hey, we all need a guilty pleasure), New Jersey Monthly. New York Times Book Review, too, but that's not really a magazine :-)

Patti said...

i trimmed a few months back...here's what's left: Esquire (love it! personal fav), Wired (very geeky gadgety), Cooking Light (some of my very best recipes come from the mag, but i have to admit i adjust them with more fat...gaaaa!) and the newest as a gift to me from a friend, More magazine.

Liz said...

I too was a junkie and I too did the decluttering self-intervention. These are the ones that made the cut: Newsweek, Vanity Fair, More, and Redbook.

My husband OTOH makes up for me by having many techy-geek subscriptions. Must work on him next.

Jenny Rough said...

I'm with Trish - I love O.

Joanne said...

My goddaughter sells magazine subscriptions for Girl Scouts, so it seems I'm always adding one or two! But I'm planning to let Newsweek go and pick up New England Watershed and The Sun, which my local library does not offer.

Like Kristina, I read a lot of magazines at the library. An added bonus is that our library system has databases that give patrons access to thousands more magazines, newspapers, and journals through the internet. It's wonderful!

Eileen said...

I am cutting back too, most of mine just sit in piles and I end up recycling them. I love Oprah and More. Will probably stick to those two, oh, yeah, I also like Shape (mind/body/soul) always need a fix in all 3 areas!

Distressed Jeans said...

I cant live without my People magazine, Allure and Lucky. I just figured out that in my 11 years of marriage, we have spent $1000 on People magazine subscriptions.

My neighbor passes along Star, Fitness and Health, O Magazine and Domino.

I was thinking about getting a subscription to OK!