Open Thread: Best Magazine Reads?

Magazone Logos by Jim Parkinson, originally uploaded from FontShopSo here’s something that I’m curious about and thought we’d discuss… what magazines do you guys read on a regular basis?  Do you feel like the Internet has changed the time you spend with a magazine — or is a hot bath or a long flight still not the same without your favorite pile of mags?  Does anyone use the iPad apps? Which magazines do you enjoy the most?

For my own $.02… you’re talking to someone whose major was magazine journalism, so I always have and always will love the medium.  One of my favorite scenes in Working Girl is when Tess describes how her reading two wildly different publications gave her a great idea related to business, and I’ve always tried to take that approach.  I remember in college, going to Barnes and Noble, getting a huge stack of magazines, and sitting down to pore over them.  In my early 20s, when I worked for Family Circle, the editor in chief had me read about 30 magazines a week and flag things of interest to her, either in terms of story ideas for the magazine or things she ought to know generally as the editor of a major magazine. When I left for law school that dwindled to personally reading about 15 a month… and now I’m down to about 5 a month, maybe. I hate recycling unread magazines, and I’m just not in a place anymore where I want to keep large unread piles of magazines anymore, so I keep unsubscribing. (Pictured: Magazine Logos by Jim Parkinson, originally uploaded from FontShop.)  I still subscribe to the following:

Entrepreneurial reads:  Inc.  Love the magazine — but they have a lot of content available online. I also get Fast Company; lots of great reads. I always recommend these magazines to women who think they might have an entrepreneurial bent — it’s one of the cheapest and easiest ways to encourage yourself. I subscribed to Forbes for a while, but I ultimately felt like I preferred the servicey, how-to vibe from Inc. far better than the “profiles of titans of industry” feel to Forbes. Wired isn’t really an entrepreneurial read, but I loved that one because I always felt very inspired by all that talk of the tech world.  They have a lot of content online as well, though, so I unsubscribed.

Healthy Lifestyle Reads: Self. I prefer this one to Women’s Health, but with any eat-right-work-out-more magazine the stories are going to repeat, often… I signed up for Men’s Health for my husband, and found that is a really excellent magazine — I’m currently trying to figure out whether or not to keep my subscription.  I also get Weight Watchers Magazine (lots of good recipes).  For a while I got Cooking Light, as well as Taste of Home’s lower-calorie magazine (Light & Tasty, maybe?) — both are excellent, but I primarily use the Internet for my source of new recipes, now.  Oh!  And Nutrition Action Newsletter — I love this one, which contains lots of scientific-y looks at what the best cereal is, whether vitamins are really bad for you, etc.

Women’s Magazines:  I love Real Simple and O, The Oprah Magazine — I feel like both have reasonable fashion choices, solid self-help advice, and that both are beautiful to look at.

Shopping/Fashion Magazines:  I still subscribe to Lucky, which I have always liked, even when it swung too far in the boho direction.  I also try to look through Elle, which I get sent every month because I’m part of the Elle/Style Coalition ad network, and I’m always amazed at the good reads in it.  I always think of Vanity Fair as the fashion magazine with the best reads — that’s my splurge at the airport newstand.  I love to look at Vogue but in all my years subscribing to it I found exactly one spread of clothes that I might want to wear, and unsubscribed after I realized that.  I liked Marie Claire for a while — that is supposedly the thinking woman’s fashion magazine — but I never found anything that was a “must read” and so I wound up unsubscribing to that one also.

Career Advice Magazines.  I get Working Mother, and highly recommend it to those of you with kids or thinking of having kids.  I signed up for this before I got pregnant, in part to keep an eye on it for this blog, and it is an excellent magazine.  At least at this point in my parenting journey, the advice is fresh and new, and they address a lot of great things about the juggle between motherhood and working.   I must say, I also like subscribing to the men’s magazines, if only to see the career and money advice that the guys are getting.  I loved, loved, loved Esquire, but I finally unsubscribed since I just never got to all the lengthy, beautifully written articles in it.  I got Pink magazine for a while also, but it just felt like it was geared for much older women.  Men’s Health (mentioned above) had a bunch of great advice columns, a few of which I’ve linked to here.

Local Magazines: We still get New York magazine, but at this point we’re just recycling them almost as soon as they come.  We started because we felt like Time Out New York was too “young” for us; New York feels too old for us.  I suppose it’s probably time that we subscribe to Time Out Kids or something like that.  Sigh.  I got The New Yorker for years and years and years and loved it, but always had huge piles of it whenever I moved… and I always felt like a pseudo-intellectual if I just read just the Shouts & Murmurs section and the comics and then recycled it.  I finally stopped getting it when I decided to get Business Week, which I had always loved — but the weeklies really kill you in terms of paper, so I could only keep one.  (I no longer get either!)

Others Magazines:  I no longer get any design magazines.  In the past I’ve gotten Elle Decor (love), Dwell (a wee bit highbrow for me), another highbrow one I’m totally blanking on, and Domino (may it rest in peace).  I end up watching a lot of property/redesign shows on television as background noise, though, so maybe I’m getting my fill of it there.  We also don’t get any entertainment magazines anymore.  I love Entertainment Weekly, Us Magazine, and Rolling Stone, but I just don’t have the time to read them! So I tend to be pretty woefully informed about what movie is coming out or what hot new show I should watch.  Oh, and I’m also liking my subscription to Parenting Early Years.

So there you have it — I’m kind of a magazine nerd.  How about you guys — what are your must-reads every month? How have your tastes changed over the years?

(L-#)

Comments

  1. I subscribe to Elle, Women’s Health, and Real Simple. When I’m on a cross country or international flight, I always add Allure, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and People Style Watch (horribly addicting!) to the mix.

  2. Real Simple is hands down my favorite magazine. Period.

    I also will read Atlantic Monthly and the Economist for news, Sport’s Illustrated for sports, Cosmo and People for trash, and the Food Network Magazine for cooking. And really any other cooking related magazine (my husband calls it food p*rn).

    • I hope you’ve seen that South Park episode…

    • I love Real Simple, its my favorite travel indulgence. I keep refusing to subscribe because buying it at the airport/train station is my favorite part of my trip ;)

      • I feel the same way. Buying Real Simple while I wait for prescriptions to be filled at CVS is one of my favorite random treats for myself. :-)

    • I just realized the other day that out of all the magazines that I receive (a lot!), the only two that I actually look forward to are Real Simple and Cook’s Illustrated. I’ve started culling my subscriptions (Self, Allure, Southern Living, Cooking Light, Food & Wine, Cook’s Country, and a bunch of news/political magazines) since then.

      • I feel like I’ve “got it” more as my twins get older. I’ve let my subscription to the parenting magazines go.Although at four, I think I need “What To Do When You Sometimes Don’t Like Your Kids” weekly.

    • Agreed. It’s the one magazine I am always going to read cover to cover every month. And then pull out whole articles, download recipes, bookmark clothing, etc. I don’t know how I lived my life without Real Simple guiding me. I happened to pick up the first issue and never stopped. I am pretty much planning on buying an iPad for the sole purpose of reading Real Simple and hoping I get other use out of it!

      I also love magazines, but I’ve been cutting down. I’ve let my subscription to the parenting magazines go. I feel like I’ve “got it” more as my twins get older. Although at four, I think I need “What To Do When You Sometimes Don’t Like Your Kids” weekly. We are in a major stage. I do get Self, and we get Cooking Light. My husband gets Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, Men’s Health, and a running magazine, and I sometimes peruse those. I had a subscription to Vogue, but like Kat realized that I am never going to wear anything in Vogue.

      Airplane reading for me is generally People Style Watch, Marie Claire, Vanity Fair, and some Better Homes and Gardens type mag. I too mourn the loss of Domino, and I really liked Blueprint (the Martha Stewart spinoff?), but I don’t see it anymore. I had a subscription to Martha Stewart for years, but she made me hate myself, so I unsubscribed.

      Generally I believe that magazines are one of the great joys of life, but I don’t have nearly enough time to read all that I want.

  3. For feeling smart: The Economist (great b/c my hubby likes to read the physical magazine, but subscription comes with free access to the app for my iPad)

    For manicures: Us and its kin

    For lazing around on a beach somewhere: also a fan of Elle & VF; adding InStyle because sometimes you really just want to look at pictures of clothes and not feel like you need to be analyzing anything!

    • I love In Style — I think of all the fashion magazines, it’s the most practical for me. I love the outfits they put together for whatever that feature is called — they always manage to do something that I would never have thought to dobut that I would also actually wear.

  4. I know it’s a “men’s” magazine, but I am a loyal subscriber to Esquire. It’s my can’t-do-without monthly magazine because it’s got fabulous writing, both short- and long-form. Nothing in the “ladymag” segment even approaches the thoughtful political and societal commentary, and it’s got smart writing that’s not too clique or cutesy. This really troubles me: why can’t women’s/fashion magazines treat women like the smart, competent, worldly people we are? Esquire has a monthly stocks/investing column – something I’ve *never* seen in a “women’s magazine.”

    • Business, Not Law :

      I’m glad I’m not the only lover of Esquire! I really do think it’s my favorite magazine!

    • I’ve never been a huge magazine person, but I really like Esquire. Ladymags need to step to its level.

    • Another female reader of Esquire here. Although I read the drinks column more faithfully than the investment tips.

    • Isn’t it a shame that the so-called women’s magazines are plagued with cutesy language, endless makeup and hair tips (as if that is what women want to read about month after month), gynecological health advice, elementary financial advice, and inane subjects like how to pose when you are laying naked around your significant other so that you don’t look fat? I don’t subscribe to any women’s magazines. I am a lawyer, not a journalist, but have thought seriously about filling this gap in the market.

      • Always a NYer :

        How awesome would a Corporette magazine be?

        • Kat – this is a million dollar idea. Do IT!

        • Right – don’t tell me one more time that the best way to save money is to stop buying Starbucks every day. I’m pretty sure I’ve got a handle on that one. Let’s get a little deeper here.

        • Totes McGotes :

          I would subscribe the hell out of a Corporette magazine… but is it bad/sad/weird that in my mind’s eye, the magazine cover sported the prominent headline: “Are YOU a Wh*re?? The Corporette Quiz”?

          • Totes McGotes :

            I also saw “Bringing Frumpskank Back.”

          • Always a NYer :

            Would there be questions asking if one wore peep-toe heels and shirts with cut-outs on the sleeves?

          • Totes McGotes :

            I can’t decide between a Cosmo-style quiz with three categories you could fall into (“I Didn’t Know Nuns Read Corporette Magazine,” “Friendly McSl*tty,” and “Full-On Nasty Ass Pro!”), or just a red page with enormous white letters screaming PROBABLY!

          • Is it wrong that I would instantly buy a magazine with a feature on “Bringing Frumpskank Back”? Potentially because that would be a look I can see myself enjoying in my office wardrobe? *shame*

      • Totally came here just to say this. I love Esquire (although I was disappointed that they seem to have done away with the January “Best and Brightest” issue), and I keep hoping for a women’s magazine this awesome, but nothing quite works. Pest, maybe we should start a blog!

      • After reading this I will definitely look into Esquire. I thought I was the only one frustrated by the repetitive topics in women’s magazines!

    • Love esquire! It’s funny because I read esquire, GQ and sometimes men’s health only at the gym, for all to see. I subscribe to self, marie claire and glamour. I used to subscribe to elle and vogue (mainly bc once you subscribe to a few mags, they start offering you subscriptions for like $8 a year), so I’ve been culling my subscriptions.

      I also read the WSJ magazine when my parents give it to me. When I was younger I loved teen vogue, and before that I LOVED national geographic world (the kids version of NG).

      I probably should read more substantial mags, but when I’m not working I like brain candy. Also, I could never give up paper magazines. I love my kindle, but I don’t know if I could do magazines on an ipad. Not that I have an ipad lol

  5. Mid-30s Slump :

    I read the New Yorker during my commute. Other than that, I don’t subscribe to anything. My goal is to finish the New Yorker every week and then read a book on top of that, which is a stretch for me. All those other magazines are too much for me — either I feel bad that I can’t work in what they recommend, or I get into a fad (this exercise, this healthy food, etc.) until the next month’s edition arrives.

    • I feel the same way. I used to love, love, love magazines … until I realized just how unrealistic even the more down-to-earth ones are (like Real Simple).

      • I felt much better about my life once I cut out the Glamour/Vogue/Elle category of magazines. They just perpetually made me feel poor and inadequate.

        • Totes McGotes :

          I know, right? They say glossy mags make women feel fat, but I always just feel like some kind of indigent.

        • Especially with Vogue, the clothes are expensive and I can’t imagine walking out the door in most of their outfits.

        • They definitely make me feel fat (I’m 5’3″ and a size 4), but never poor. The only designer item I think I own is juicy couture sunglasses I got at marshalls for $40, most my clothes are kohls, express, marshalls, banana outlet, brooks brother outlet etc. But I love the fashion mags and the ads to see the new silhouettes, colors, styles and beauty products. I probably buy a few more things than I need to bc I read a lot of mags, but I don’t aspire for the big ticket designer items.

    • Although this may seem strange, I appreciate the exercise magazines for their exercise fads. Every once in a while I want to mix it up, and the magazines offer options on different ways to strengthen muscles, stretch, approach cardio, etc.

  6. *cliche. Sorry!

  7. Maddie Ross :

    Embarassingly, I subscribe to US Weekly and Lucky. And somehow ended up with a subscription to Redbook, which I like more than I expected. If you are looking for excellent writing though, I must suggest Garden & Gun. I love the essays and it gives great ideas for travel and entertaining.

  8. My only subscription is to National Geographic. They have the best photography and great articles on science, health, social and geo-political issues; I read it every month.

    I don’t subscribe to, but read fairly regularly (i.e., almost every month) Lucky and Real Simple. I tend to pick those two up on the weekends when I’m going to sit and do laundry or be on the bus for a long trip. Less regularly, (i.e. perhaps 2-4 times a year) I’ll pick up the New Yorker and/or Harpers.

    • I just subscribed to National Geographic this month, it’s my only subscription too. It has nothing to do with my job, but I still can’t wait to get my first magazine!

    • backtowork :

      I’ve been hooked on National Geographic since I was a kid. Love the photography, love the science articles, love the insight into exotic places. This is the one that has really had an impact on my life. I’ve been on several international trips to places I would never had known about, had it not been for my NG habit.

  9. As a 25 year old young professional with a love for fashion, I barely have time to read magazines however they are my guilty pleasure. A great magazine and a glass of wine in bed can cure any bad day.
    Cosmo- great for reading on the train but I don’t read all the articles.
    More-surprising a great read. It’s geared more to older women 40-50 range but I love the fashion editorials and inspirations stories about women in business.
    Vogue-I read cover to cover. LOVE it!

    I also download the following on my ipad. Many magazines give you free ipad verisons if you have a print subscription.
    CondeNast Traveler – great photos and interactive pages
    Travel and Leisure – beautiful photos as well with great articles

  10. Jacqueline :

    I have so many (strong) opinions on magazines! Like Cat, I’m a magazine nerd. I love holding them, paging through them, savoring them, and for me, nothing compares to the thrill of a new issue in the mail. Even though I read plenty of content online, I’ll never give up on print mags.

    Over the years, I’ve subscribed to or read:

    Lucky: I subscribed for almost nine years, but I *hate* what the new editor has done to it. I loved the down-to-earth vibe that Kim France and Andrea Linett had. Now the copy reads like any other women’s mag, all man-pleasing and shallower, somehow. Also, the models look like they’re twelve. I don’t like feeling old when I read a magazine, but I’m starting to feel too old for Lucky,

    Elle: I always flip to E. Jean first — love her take-no-prisoners advice column! I can always count on Elle for a few thinking-woman’s alarmist pieces about family, sex, relationships, etc., and the fashion articles are usually good.

    Marie Claire: So uneven. I feel like it doesn’t know who it wants to be.

    The Atlantic: Hands-down, my favorite news/culture/ideas magazine. I look forward to it every month.

    The New Yorker: I like but don’t love The New Yorker, but I feel like that’s practically blasphemy in my social circle, so I keep this thought to myself. The longer features always draw me in, but I usually can’t get into the fiction, and the overall pretentiousness can be a turnoff.

    The Economist: Finally, a place to find world news I felt I couldn’t find anywhere else with a point of view that didn’t feel sensationalist. I had a six-month subscription and LOVED it, but I could never keep up, and it’s really expensive to subscribe. I try to read it online, though.

    Domino/Blueprint: Loved both of these, and I still haven’t found a more accessible, fun home decor magazine. Everything else feels way too high-end for me.

    Real Simple: Like a breath of fresh air when it comes in the mail. Great recipes, calming layouts.

    Oprah: I’m probably way younger than the target audience, but I unabashedly steal my mom’s copies and usually read them cover to cover. Love Martha Beck, Suze Orman, and even Dr. Phil. And there are some inspiring articles about creativity and pursuing your passions.

    Self and Glamour are starting to remind me of each other — overly enthusiastic, chatty copy, bright colors, “you-go-girl” mentality. I always pick them up at the gym, but they’re treadmill magazines for me, not ones I’d subscribe to. Did anyone read that article in the NYT last week about Glamour’s big image change? They’re changing up the cover and the approach — looks like they’re aiming for a younger demographic.

    Phew — I had a lot to say. Can’t wait to hear everyone else’s thoughts!

    • Jacqueline :

      And how could I forget Travel & Leisure/ Conde Nast Traveler? CN covers a more diverse range of locations, but T&L feels a little more accessible to me. CN is SO high-end — I always feel poor after I read it!

      Great writing in both, though. I love Guy Trebay and Gary Shteyngart’s travel essays.

    • Yay the Atlantic. Its so good.

      • MissJackson :

        I also love Atlantic. I got the Economist with a Groupon about a year ago — I like it, but I won’t be resubscribing because I cannot keep up and the unread Economists all over my (tiny) house make me feel terrible on multiple levels. The Atlantic Monthly, though — now that I can keep up with!

        I also subscribe to Runner’s World, which I find motivating. I joke that I like to read about running more than I like to actually run.

        I used to subscribe to some knitting magazines, too. Interweave Knits, and Vogue Knitting. I might go back to Interweave — only downside is that I cannot bring myself to throw them away, ever (I might want to make one of those patterns eventually)!

        Annnnd based on all of these recommendations, I need to get Real Simple, stat.

        • Just so you know, there’s a thriving market for old interweave issues on ravelry. So if you don’t want to throw them away, it’s pretty easy to pass them on to a good home.

          • MissJackson :

            Oh, I know it. But the thing is that it’s not just that I don’t want to throw them away. I think of them just like pattern books (really, really economical pattern books) — and I keep them for forever, turn back to them for occasional inspriation, and sometimes I even do eventually go back and knit something.

            The reason that I stopped subscribing in the first place is that although I liked a lot of the patterns, I rarely actually knit them. With so many patterns on the internet, and so little time, it felt wasteful. But now I’m kind of missing it (I’ve been unsubscribed for a little more than a year)!

          • Oh, MissJackson, I am exactly the same way. I have an entire shelf of Interweave Knits but can’t bear to ever throw them out.

            On the other hand, I get rid of old copies of Real Simple all the time.

          • I have a shelf of Interweaves/Vogues/Knitscenes/Verenas too! I only subscribe to Interweave at this point; I really ought to go ahead and add the others, since I find myself buying every issue anyhow.

    • E. Jean Carroll is my hero. She’s the main reason I subscribed to Elle for as long as I did.

    • New Yorker fiction is often terribly boring. The fiction section is regarded more for what it used to mean that for the work featured inside of it these days.

    • I also read ‘O’ I always learn something new reading it and I find some of the advice practical. The ‘inspiration’ pieces are great. I pick Glamour up at the local library, it’s an easy read but sometimes it’s got too much “fluff” for my taste.

  11. I love Real Simple. It’s the best.

    I am also still a loyal People fan- it is short enough for a distraction- but not just the picture-blitz of Us.

    I also read Cooking Light, Elle, Vogue and Vanity Fair. And I completely agree about Esquire. While I don’t subscribe I always pick it up at the airport.

  12. stack overflow is back for me Kat

  13. I have systematically cut out subscriptions to everything except the New Yorker, which I love and read faithfully. And I read fiction vociferously. I buy Martha Stewart Living, O, and Real Simple from time to time. I always read free copies of Us. I used to love Cooking Light, Entertainment Weekly, and lots of other magazines — but the whole combination of working full-time in big-law plus having a two-year-old has forced me to cut out enormous amounts of clutter in my life, from paper-clutter like magazines to time-clutter like movies and TV. And while I still cook, cooking has definitely degenerated into the “grilled chicken and broccoli” category, not cooking from recipes. I pulled together a resume recently and looked at my “Interests” section and got really depressed because the only thing left on there that I still do is read.

  14. I feel way too guilty about the wasted paper! Plus, I don’t like having magazines around the house, not just because I think the magazines themselves look messy, but also because those little paper postcards asking you to subscribe always fall out everywhere.

    * I sound really OCD.

    • One of my favorite Onion articles of all time is something like “Fourth Subscription Card To Fall Out of Magazine Convinces Man to Subscribe.”

    • All cards must be trashed within 5 minutes of the magazine coming through the door. No exceptions. DH does not understand how crazy it makes me to have those things flying around.

    • The tactile sensation of one of those cards sliding out and hitting the back of my hand drives me absolutely bonkers.

    • DC Association :

      Factoid: those paper postcard inserts are called “blow-ins”. I know you were dying to know!

    • Elizabeth :

      They usually don’t even make it inside the house; I sometimes pull them out while waiting at the checkstand. My husband sat next to a woman on an airplane who “pulled all the cards out of her magazine, just like you.” Apparently he thought I was the only one!

      • I use those things as bookmarks in the magazine because yes, I am also a bit OCD, and I read magazines page by page, cover to cover. So if I have to stop midway, I need a placeholder and lord knows I’m not folding the page over (though if forced, I am way more likely to do that for a magazine than a book … ).

        Anyway, just wanted to say I’m surprised there’s not more love for Vanity Fair! I love that magazine.

        Also, I totally only read Shouts & Murmurs and the cartoons in the New Yorker, it’s probably time to let it go.

        • Oh, also, my mom got me hooked on a British magazine called Red. Anyone know it? It’s pretty great, like Marie Claire used to be and/or tries to be, in terms of being a thinking woman’s magazine …

          • I love Red. When I fly (which is about the only time I buy any sort of magazine, as it is the only time I have to read them) I get Red, Marie Claire, the Economist, a cooking magazine and a work-out magazine. Red always gets read first.

        • Elizabeth :

          Here’s another vote for Vanity Fair – one of my subscriptions in addition to Sunset, National Geographic, Newsweek (came with the NPR contribution), and a myriad of woodworking magazines my husband gets. My favorite is “This Old House” magazine – great DIY projects!

    • I just don’t get the cards. I have already subscribed – why waste your preaching on this choir?

  15. Anon in the Midwest :

    Can I give a shout out to my teenage favorite? Sassy, I loved you so much. Would probably still be reading it, were it around.

  16. I love InStyle

  17. Domino fans: it’s coming back but in an abbreviated form (I think 1-2 big issues with a mix of new and recycled content). I just read that someplace, so look out for it this year.

    Martha Stewart Living is my guilty pleasure. I like the New Yorker, and I’m really liking Bloomberg Business Week. Vogue is awesome but I can only handle it a few times a year.

  18. Like Kat, I read Nutrition Action Newsletter and Real Simple.

    I also subscribe to Psychology Today, Yoga Journal, and ABA Journal.

    Most of The Economist is available online for free so I don’t subscribe because of the high price point.

  19. Kat-
    I just got the stack overflow message again. IE 8

  20. Oh, Kat, I love your writing and you normally are spot on . . . but it’s “pore over,” not “pour over.” Unless you are watering your magazines.

    • Tired Squared :

      Or a wills/trusts scenario. My Wills professor used to illustrate the idea of “pour-over” trusts with an actual watering can…

  21. I get an embarrassing number of magazines because I like to imagine I have the kind of life where I can sit down with a magazine for a couple of hours on a regular basis. I don’t. But I save them up for vacations.

    I am subscribed to
    Vogue
    Bazaar
    O, Oprah
    More (this one is really great)
    Vanity Fair
    BrainChild (highly recommend for thinking moms)
    Cooking Light
    Food and Wine
    Interweave Knits
    Vogue Knitting

    • Oh, and Sunset. My husband gave me a subscription for Christmas (because clearly I needed more magazines?)

      My husband himself subscribes to
      Entertainment Weekly
      Smithsonian
      Star (a Mercedes magazine)

      My kids get
      Girl’s Life
      Boy’s Life
      Lego Club
      National Geographic Jr.

    • PS I know this is a lot of paper. I occasionally bring a stack to the lunchroom at work, where they disappear into other hands within a day.

    • I was wondering if there was another interweave fan on here!

      The only magazine I’m subscribed to is Interweave Crochet (Xmas gift, not at a place right now to afford subscriptions to anything)

      When we were living with my in-laws, I loved reading Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the Economist, EW, and Nat’l Geographic.

      I recently started reading The Atlantic online and its becoming a huge favorite.

      I buy The Economist for long plane rides, having determined after much experimentation that it has the best price to content ratio.

      I’ll buy girly/celebrity mags when I’m having a bad day or during that time of the month at the supermarket checkout line with chocolate, but don’t have a favorite. I usually just choose based on which cover looks most interesting.

      • Yay, someone else who likes Interweave!

        The only magazine subscriptions I have are to Interweave Knits and Spin-Off.

        However, I regularly buy Real Simple and Piece Work (I really should subscribe), and on a less regular basis I read Vanity Fair, The Economist and InStyle.

        But I really love (though don’t subscribe because I know I would never have time to read every issue) the Far Eastern Economic Review. My fave.

        • MissJackson :

          I just mentioned Interweave Knits above, too, before I read here! *knitting high five*

        • A fellow spinner? I used to have a Spin-Off subscription, but eventually canceled because I wasn’t serious enough about spinning to make it worth it. I spin for stress relief, and I just didn’t have the desire to get into the nitty-gritty technical details. Such a pretty magazine, though!

          • Oh, I love spinning but I don’t spin enough either. Doesn’t stop me from getting Spin-Off though. I am generally fibre-obsessed. I keep telling myself not to start dyeing, or all will be lost.

          • Don’t know if you’re still reading this, but I just started dyeing (with food dyes) this year, and it’s a really easy, low key hobby. You basically just dump dye, water, and fiber in a pot and leave it for a couple of hours. Super easy.

    • SaltyDawg :

      I adore your use of the term, “Thinking Moms”. That’s all really, it may have made my lunch hour!

  22. The Economist is the perfect commuting magazine — it’s thin but dense, so it lasts most of a week.

    Smithsonian is a long-time favorite of mine, because the articles are about nothing I would ever encounter in real life.

    Wired has some really good articles, but is very uneven. Some months I’m done with it in 5 minutes, and some months I read almost every page.

    I used to subscribe to many magazines, but gave them up because it was depressing not to be able to keep up.

  23. I love magazines, but I hate paying for them (I know that it’s not much) and the clutter (I hate to throw things away, and you’ll probably see me on that Horders show someday). The only magazine I subscribe to now is Bon Appetite, which I love, and I keep every issue, recipes tabbed and well-used. I’ve also had Cook’s Illustrated in the past, and also love that, but, well, see above.

    Weirdly, a few months ago, we suddenly started receiving Cosmo in my husband’s name. We have no idea why (it came to our old address, so I can’t even suspect that he did subscribe for some strange reason and just doesn’t want to tell me). This is not the first time that he has mysteriously started receiving random magazines that he would never subscribe to, so it’s a thing. Anyway, though, I must admit that I have loved reading through them, both for the trash factor and for the fact that they are a lot more fun and interesting than I thought (I’m impressed with the sourcing for the recommendations they give.) Also, the sex tips are frequently hilarious.

  24. I love short fiction and longer-form journalism, so I my go-to magazines are Harpers and The New Yorker. I agree with what others have said about The New Yorker being overwhelming, and sometimes I’m not interested in any of the main articles, but I love the fiction and Shouts & Murmers, and sometimes their journalism is just fantastic.

    My other very favorite magazine is Found. It’s compiled from notes and letters and photographs that people find in various places. It’s not on sale very many locations, but they also have an awesome website at foundmazagine dot com.

    I may be in the minority here, but I absolutely loathe Real Simple. The redesign that the magazine went under a few years ago skewed its focus to a much older more high-income demographic (much more akin to O). If I was in that demographic, I would probably like it a lot more but, as someone in their late 20s, there’s not much there for me.

    Finally, I totally agree with michelle’s comment about lady mags. I feel as if they “talk down” to women in a way by including articles mainly about a) health & beauty; b) “fitness” (90% of the time based on how to lose weight); and c) relationships. While some of this stuff is well-written and fun to read, it’s boring as eating vanilla ice cream every day. Where are the articles about cars, or investing, or going on adventures? Or, for that matter, how to get strong without talking about losing weight? As misogynistic as Maxim is, I really like it sometimes because it seems….unselfconscious, maybe….in a way that few publications for women are.

    • You are not alone in your distaste for Real Simple!

    • Real Simple makes me feel bad about myself for not having a simplified lifestyle. I don’t need a magazine for that.

      I feel better about the New Yorker when I remind myself that I’m not obliged to read it cover-to-cover. If an article doesn’t grab me by page 2, I skip it. But the weight makes it great for business travel (short story = bedtime reading!). Plus no senior coworker can judge you for reading it as they might if you read, say, US Weekly. Although if I had a coworker reading US Weekly I would probably think more highly of them for having diverse interests.

    • One of my friends calls it “Real Expensive.”

    • Geezerette :

      Now, see, I have the opposite view of Real Simple — it’s geared to a younger audience, with articles such as “how to iron a shirt” or “new uses for a shoe box.” I unsubscribed after getting a trial one at the Container Store.

  25. Subscriptions:
    Sunset – “the magazine of the West”! Good recipes, good travel/long weekend ideas, lets me fantasize about the vacation home we will probably never be able afford. ;)

    The New Yorker – usually one of the longer features gets me interested, but I recently gave myself permission not to finish it each week if I am done reading what interests me.

    Vanity Fair – I love it, I get a little gossip and usually at least one intelligent, well-researched feature.

    Dwell – I just like to look even though my style isn’t nearly this modern.

    Ended subscriptions:
    -Self/Shape/Runner’s World/Women’s Health – I feel like you only need to subscribe for a year and then just keep that year’s worth for the rest of your active life.

    -Bon Appetit – not the same since the re-do.

    -Everyday Food – too repetitive, and really getting too Rachael Ray-esque for my taste – though I have loads of recipes from the earlier years that are regulars for me.

    -Lucky – meh.

    -US Weekly – only because it is just too expensive for what it is. I always, always, always buy it in an airport, though.

    • Totally agree on Self / Shape etc. I subscribed to Shape and Fitness for a year or two and learned everything I needed to know. They get so repetitive. But they’re great if you’re just starting out with exercise and/or don’t have a personal trainer and need to stay motivated.

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