Saturday, March 27, 2010

March Magazine Mania

Once in a while, perhaps every four months or so, I have an urge to see what's current on the magazine racks in my local independent bookstore. In March, I bought three magazines. I could have read them in the library, but that would have meant waiting until they weren't in demand. This month I bought the Atlantic Magazine, Harper's Magazine and the New Yorker. I didn't buy a Canadian magazine. Maybe I should get a slap on the wrist or something. I do read Macleans magazine every day (Canadian mag.) in the online version, and used to read The Walrus (pretentious Canadian mag.) when I had a gift subscription. So, why choose those three magazines?

My New Yorker habit, which I had to taper down because it's a weekly magazine, started years ago. A friend who had a subscription used to give me her copies after she read them. I was hooked. I couldn't buy a copy every week, but I did buy one or two every month when I was working full time. The New Yorker has changed over the years, but I still like it - a lot. In the March 1st issue there's an article titled The Deflationist which is about the economist, Paul Krugman. His views on the stock market and the economy are the opposite of boring. In the same issue, there's an article about mountain people who live in isolation only 25 miles from New York city. The magazine also publishes wonderful fiction. And, there are cartoons - there are always cartoons in the New Yorker. Sometimes I don't understand one, but then again, I don't live in New York and I'm not young or hip.

I've been a fan of Harper's since I first browsed through one in a bookstore eons ago. Harper's Index, which appears at the front of every issue always has interesting/startling and sometimes downright weird facts to impart. From this month's issue: "Percentage of American men aged 18 to 29 who believe that standing up during sex is an effective form of contraception , 18. Percentage of U.S. public grade-school teachers who say they buy food for hungry students every month, 63." Also in the March issue, an article on "The Guantanamo 'Suicides'" and Mammon from Heaven, which is about the prosperity gospel in recession. Harper's also features readings - very short things first published in other places. For instance, I, Sexbot, which first appeared on the website of I'm sure you want to know that the robot, which will "deliver the ultimate in robot sex" is called Roxxxy.

The Atlantic Magazine, which is one of the oldest magazines still living, is also a favourite of mine. Where else could you find an article on How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America (yes, it's depressing) along with an article on Management Secrets of the Grateful Dead and some thoughts on preserving old video games for the cultural record.

Do you subscribe to any magazines, and if you do why did you choose them?


Angela Addams said...

I don't read magazines unless I'm stuck somewhere without a book. When I do read them it's the gossip mags...I can't explain it...there's nothing literary or intelligent about them but if I didn't feel so guilty about spending the four or five dollars it costs to buy them myself then I would probably pick them up regularly...I like the gossip all seems so wild and interesting compared to my boring life ;)

Diane Girard said...

There's a lot of gossip about celebs online and on television, so I catch it there.

mcinnesp said...

Not much for magazines anymore, I'm afraid. I used to subscribe to Maclean's, but found that it turned into more of a gossip magazine than the news magazine it started out to be.

Other news magazines, much like news casts on TV, just don't contain enough true reporting. Everyone is out to sell the news rather than just report it without the hype and without their own personal slant on things.

Anonymous said...

I don't have the time to read magazines, but I make time for Food & Drink and occassionally browse through other cooking magazines. Mostly I look at the pictures and wish I had someone to cook the recipes for me. Arlene :)