Best of the Best: Loaded question • Cathy Best, lifestyle columnist
Not long ago I was asked, “What magazines do you read?” The better question may be, “what magazines do you purchase?” My husband would tell you I subscribe to every food, home décor, fashion, and lifestyle magazine on the planet. He would most likely divulge that magazines are used as decorative accessories in our home, not reading material; they litter every tabletop. It’s true. Maybe some of you can relate; it’s the fear of missing something interesting or useful that has me in a subscription renewal death-grip.
Magazines are as tempting to me as chocolate is to a chocoholic. Walking by airport and bookstore newsstands is not an option; pretty, glossy, photo-shopped pictures, and catchy headlines, have me dropping $6 on the counter lest my brow breaks into an embarrassing cold sweat. Grocery store checkout lines are even less of an option; impulse, magazine-buyer marketing works on me. If a subscription lapses I find myself buying it, and adding it to the stack of un-read glossies on the beside table, or slipping it in my travel bag with several other, yet unopened, periodicals. Finding time to skim through the pages, much less read the articles, is where the ink meets the page; each issue I get further behind. Currently, Thanksgiving recipes from November 2011 and 2012 summer fashion tips have reached the top of the pile. I wish I were kidding.
As applied to my weakness for periodicals, there’s irony in the definition of magazine; it comprises both publication and storehouse of ammunition. The meaning also includes arsenal, which is further defined as storeroom, storehouse, repository, and stockpile. I’m just saying.
My husband and I have an ongoing dialogue about my magazine hoarding. Yes, he goes there. And, for the record, he has a single, 30-year, subscription to Road and Track of which he has never recycled a single issue. I digress.
Beyond his periodic insistence that I purge back issues, I do need to pare down my collection, as I prefer to call it, and the number of subscriptions I currently can’t seem to turn the first page of. If you are similarly challenged, I know you’re out there; we can start a support group. I suggest meeting in waiting rooms, salons, and libraries, where stacks of unread back issues could be left for people who would read them.
Best of the Best: Managing magazine madness
• Subscribe to favorite magazines online
• Clip and file articles of interest and recycle remainder
• Donate issues where needed
• Bundle a year of issues and sell in a yard sale
• Set a time each week to read current issues and immediately place in the recycle bin
• If you can’t let them go, and the support group would only cause you further angst, I recommend pretty bookshelf magazine caddies, to organize and display your collection.
Printed in the January 24, 2013 edition.