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{09/01/2012}   To waste money or to wisely spend money – on magazines

​​​​​​​​Monday, 9th January 2012

I have just spent about an hour and a half going through old magazines.  I have more category piles than I expected, ranging from “to-read” to torn out recipes.  I have spent, perhaps wasted, a lot of money on magazines.  I have been through The Week (I have a subscription that is about to end), Harpers Bazaar (I got that for the bargain price of £10 for a year, despite having never read it before and not being particularly interested in haute couture), Which magazine (incredibly compulsive read, makes you want lots of things you didn’t know you would ever want), Prospect (borrowed), Oh, Comely (My yearly subscription has just ended but after getting really excited about the first copy I ever read of it, I lost interest. Good idea though), a selection of food magazines and a few random magazines.

Except for Jamie magazine, which is a recent discovery (I am becoming an unexpected Jamie Oliver fan, in terms of his recipes), I have largely deconstructed the food magazines.  I now have a pile of ripped out recipes, thus giving me yet another project: put recipes in a folder and compile the ultimate personally selected recipe book.

I have a clear pocket book which I keep in my bathroom by the toilet.  I am filling it up with articles I haven’t read but which look interesting and bits of information, eg a list of classic children’s books, information on an exhibition I wanted to see (too late!), some short travel write-ups of places that look interesting and a reviews of some recently published cookery books.  I like the idea of adding to this book, it almost feels like I’m putting together a magazine.

One of my guilty pleasures is gossip magazines (there was only one amongst this lot, an American one from a recent trip). I usually flick through a few in newsagents at train stations and occasionally buy OK. I am quite embarrassed by this. While thinking about the extent to which I’ve wasted money on magazines, it really struck me that some magazines are almost good enough to be a book. Most cookery magazines have a lot of useful things in them that you’d want to keep, mainly recipes of course. I don’t think I have ever even contemplated ripping or cutting something out of a gossip magazine, likewise most other women’s magazines, though I do feel you get more for your money with them, except that gossip is horribly interesting so that’s the `value` of the gossip weeklies.

I first produced a magazine in the `80s.  It was of scrapbook quality with a series of drawings, poems and thoughts (I can’t bring myself to big them up as articles!).  Two of my friends contributed, with a poem about a cat, complete with a drawing, from Carolyn being a highlight!  My publishing and editing career ended about there. I still love the idea of a magazine though, one that isn’t full of clothes designed for skinny women with lots of money.  I’d want a magazine full of a variety of topics, things that I and my friends are interested in and talk about, such as researching family history, basic photography tips, food things, tips, articles about our daily interests/stresses/worries.

I have just concluded to myself that I love magazines, on all kinds of subjects, I love the up to date information and the turning of smooth magazine pages.  Some are a waste of money, but some can give inspiration, so long as you read them and take out the bits that interest you, which may be (for me, at least) better than keeping the whole magazine.

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