My Vice

Some people hoard clothes, music, food, make-up, or toiletries. Well, I have a confession. I am a magazine junkie. Magazines are my second favorite kind of mail (the #1 fave is free samples).

I have no less than 17 mag subscriptions—some of which I haven’t received yet because they’re so new—and I’ve initiated almost half of them in the past three months. I’ve only paid for four of these subscriptions (ranging from $5-$12 for one year), and the rest were from special online offers where I had a code, or redeeming miles I’ve accumulated from different airlines. I’d have more subscriptions if I weren’t cheap ($1/issue is my price point).

I love the pictures. I love the escapism. I love the ideas that come to me as I peruse the pages or contemplate the issues being presented. I like to be enlightened and inspired.
collage Pictures, Images and Photos

The mag titles cover an array of interests, from entertainment to lifestyle to home care to shopping to news, health, business—you get the idea.

Print is Not Dead

The publishing industry talks about how print mags are dying as people turn more and more to online content, but mags are still very much alive. (AUTHOR’S NOTE: This link used to be unrestricted but in any case is still valid if you have an account.) The video below colorfully illustrates 20 tweetable truths about magazines (in short, the message is that magazine industry as a whole is still thriving, with new ones being born regularly.)

VIBE magazine, one of my favorites, recently found me (the original operations shut down in June 2009, but was revived in December 2009, without having received the old subscriber info). The cover included an offer to resume VIBE for a year for free (it mentioned “select subscribers only.”) I signed up and popped that postcard back in the mail with the quickness. I started getting their very first issue when I was a freshman in college, so receiving that 15th Anniversary Juice issue with Em and Dre was like being reunited with an old friend.

A Couple of Minor Inconveniences

VIBE June/July 2010 cover featuring Nicki Minaj
VIBE June/July 2010 cover featuring Erykah Badu

Something that frustrates me a little is when an issue has more than one cover (a split cover)—whether it’s Vibe, Elle, or TV Guide, because I never get the cover I want, and the alternate cover pic is rarely included in the issue. But if I were to buy the same issue from the newsstand, I could find the desired cover.

People say you can read the same stories at the mag’s website, but often you can’t. More and more, the online content of a magazine is an addition to what is in the print version.

The digital versions often don’t allow for saving any of the pages. I like to tear and scan some pictures and articles for my personal collection and archives. Where else would I have room for 20 years’ worth of magazines? You’ve gotta have a way to manage your clutter—say, after accumulating five issues of the same mag, throw out/shred at least three of them.

Accessibility of Information

I could read some mag issues at the library, but I like to do it on my time, and many libraries don’t allow you to check out magazines.

I keep some issues in my car so that if I ever get caught in a traffic backup where we’re not moving, I can pull one out and catch up. Or I can read mine in the waiting room for an appointment instead making do with the boring ones that are available (Field and Stream, anyone?).

For you writers and entrepreneurs, you can even create your own magazine. Pretty expensive to do on your own, I would think, but this article explains how to do so at no cost.

Support the Girl Scouts With Magazine Orders

I just found out that one of the fall campaigns for my daughter’s new Girl Scout troop consists of magazine orders! The orders can be done online and are 85% of the cover price. Leave me a comment if you’re interested in supporting this cause (the girls get $1 per order, vs. pennies on the dollar for the cookie fundraiser in the winter).

Where do you prefer to get your information? In print or online? Why do you prefer that medium? Or do you not pay much attention to mags because the proliferation of ads turns you off?

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6 thoughts on “My Vice

  1. i love magazines too. for years, i had more subscriptions than an old man could shake a stick at. now i’m less inclined to subscribe especially with this new thing called the internet.

    i get my magazine fix on at work or while i’m waiting to see the doctor/dentist!

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