Confessions of an Image Junkie

Do you get any magazines?

Magazines Progressive Farmer I’ll admit right here in front of everybody that my relationship with magazines is love-hate.

When I was a kid, the Sears and JC Penny catalogs were known as “wish books” in my house, and that was not meant as a compliment.  But the moniker didn’t stop at the edges of the catalog.  Magazines were also known by that name.

My dad’s Progressive Farmer magazine was not considered a wish book, because it contained information he needed. Nor was my monthly issue of Highlights. 

Do any of y’all remember the Highlights for Children?  MHighlights magazineom ordered that one for me as soon as I learned to read.  It was full of all kinds of stuff for kids. Mom approved of Highlights because it was educational.

As an aside, I am so very grateful that my mother was dedicated to making sure I learned, and to feeding my incessant curiosity by pushing library books and other stuff to read–stacks of it–on a weekly basis.

But as for the brightly-colored magazines on the racks in the grocery stores?  She wasn’t too keen on those particular wish books.  Like many folks who’Magazines Horse & Riderd lived through the difficult, early part of the 20th century, mom didn’t, then, waste time staring at, or wanting, things she believed she could never have.  She still doesn’t, for the most part.

When I was a pre-teen and  could ask for my own magazines, I wanted Horse Of Course.   Throughout my teenage years, I went through pretty much every horse magazine available.Magazines this old house

As a teenager, I subscribed to Seventeen, but I was still more interested in Better Homes & Gardens and its ilk, because those were full of decorating and remodeling ideas, and ohhh yes, beautiful food. 

It’s true. From an early age, I was a Martha Stewart Mini-Me.

Then I got married, and could indulge my lust for magazines with no gatekeeper to say “no, you don’t need that.”  At one time, we had as many as eight or nine magazines coming to the house.  National Geographic, Martha magazines horticultureStewart Living, Horticulture, Food & Wine, Family Handyman, This Old House…you get the dea.

I realize that eight or nine magazines is not much compared to the number that many people get every month, but for me it was a lot.  There was not time to read all of those, though I tried. 

Finally I realized that they were lying there, unread, and I let every one of Magazine martha stewartthem expire.  I just didn’t have time, and there was no point in paying for what you wouldn’t use, right?  After all, in my ongoing quest to declutter, I needed less “stuff.”  Not more.

A couple of years ago I discovered Pinterest, which was wonderful because I got to choose the best of “magazine stuff” that fit me, without the paper copies. 

This past fall, though, something happened.

magazines garden & gunDuchess Jeanne was sending me something in the mail—something I’d forgotten and left at her house.  When the box arrived, she’d included some fun little surprises, as she is wont to do, and among those surprises were some magazines.

There was a copy of Garden & Gun, a Southern Living, and (be still, my heart) a copy of Garden Design from May, 2012.

The front said “Perfect Courtyards” in big blue letters. I fell hard.

And I remembered how much I used to love reading magazines.

Okay confession time.  One of the first romance novels I ever read was a novella printed in a women’s magazine.  I still remember that story, though I don’t remember the author or the title.  The powers that be say people don’t want longer content in their magazines now, but I would argue with that.  I loved getting a taste of a new author as a short novel in a magazine.  However, I can’t argue with the lack of time to read.

Time was, when my This Old House arrived each month, that entire evening was devoted to reading it, cover to cover. magazines old house journal Not any more.

Back then, when I got a free afternoon, I’d go to Barnes & Noble, get a fancy coffee, and spend a couple of hours just flipping through the magazines, letting the gorgeous photos relax me and spark my muse. 

But I now understand that I am an image junkie, and wonder if I should feed that with magazines as I once did.

I still haven’t read all the way through the copies Jeanne sent, because bottom line, I  have almost no time for just plain fun, recreational reading.  But I’m thinking maybe giving up magazines entirely has been a mistake.Magazine Food & Wine

When I pulled those beautiful copies out of Jeanne’s box, I remembered how much I love just turning the pages.  Having the flow of lovely, perfect images skip across my mind. 

I get images from Pinterest now, but it’s not the same.  There are no articles to go with them.  And pondering a computer screen is not the same as having it in my hands.

What I love in magazines has remained constant for many years.  Gardening. Remodeling or restoration.  Food magazines.  Those are my poison.magazines fine homebuilding

At the moment, all I have is a subscription to Fine Homebuilding that a friend sent me as a gift, but I gave in last month and re-subscribed to Food & Wine because the recipes are always so good.

I’m considering taking the plunge and going for the mother of all monthly “wish books,” Southern Living.  I’ve never had a subscription.

The trouble is that when I get a magazine like Southern Living, with all those lovely pictures and ideas, I never want to get rid of it. So they pile up.

 What about you, Bandits and Buddies?

magazines southern living Do you like magazines?

Do you read paper or have you gone the online route?

What magazines were in your house when you were a kid?

What are your favorites now?

Do you subscribe to any?

Are there other Southern Living fans out there?

Anybody else out there an image junkie like me?

Let’s talk magazines.

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Comments

63 Comments

  • Jane says:

    Hmm, I’m having trouble signing in.

    Hello Cassondra,
    I remember Highlights. My dad had a few photography mags lying around when we were little. I love magazines and still subscribe to Entertainment Weekly, Cosmo and National Geographic. I still read the paper copies.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      National Geographic is such a great magazine, Jane. My husband used to get it; I always loved the photography and the connection with other parts of the world.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Jane I’m sorry you had trouble.

      You’re not the only one. I did too. Thought I wasn’t going to be able to post the blog. Some spam filter made me bow and grovel to be allowed back in. Glad you made it, and congrats on the bird!

      Do you still have snow up there? IT’s turned warm here. Glad he’s not with me, as he’d be running amok.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Oh and I have always loved National Geographic.

      I wonder how long we’ll have paper magazines? I hope it’s for a good while yet.

  • Amy Conley says:

    OMG Cassandra, magazines. Ladies Home Journel. Even as a kid I loved the “Can this marriage be saved” . How weird is that? And I HATED HIGHLIGHTS, I thought it was for poor, dumb kids who couldn’t real books, I am laughing so hard right now imagining the look of horror on your face. Maybe I was juzt a book snob.
    Ok now it is your turn to laugh at me. As a teen it was 16 Magazine and whatever the other one was. I could get up and go grab one but I’m too lazy. And no I don’t actually still have the magazines, but I do have all my teen heart-throb posters. And some of those posters are on the inside cover, so I know the magazine and publcation date. They are antiques now.
    These days I may flip through a home improvement type magazine, but it just makes me want things I can’t have. Bad enough I can watch HGTV all day if I want.

    • Amy Conley says:

      I just remembered, TEEN BEAT was the other one. And no, I still haven’t gotten out of bed, it just came to me.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      LOL at your comment, Amy. I loved “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” too! I was always fascinated to see how the counselor helped the couple resolve their problems. I liked the Her Side, HIs Side, too, and realized as in all things, but especially marriages, it’s never just one person’s fault.

      • Cassondra Murray says:

        Amen to that Jo! Everyone has a different perpective, and I think half of it is coming to see how the other person “views” the situation.

      • Waving my hand for the “Can this marriage be saved?” count. Maybe the hope and conflict in that feature paved the road for us as romance readers/writers. Who knew?

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Hi Amy!

      I liked LHJ a LOT back in the day. In fact, that may be where I read that first short romance novel. I’m sad to say, I thought it was better before Rosie got ahold of it though. Just didn’t have the same “feel” after that. Some people liked it better though, I think.

      And I was really, really little when I read HIghlights. I remember it being fun–the activities. I don’t remember much about them specifically, though, and I don’t remember there being stories. Were there stories in it? When I searched it and saw that picture, I had an instant flashback. My issues looked just like that.

      LOL at your “book snob even as a little girl” thing. *grin*

  • Helen says:

    Cassondra

    I am not a magazine junkie LOL I have on occaisions bought them when there is something that I wanted to read or I saw a great recipe that I wanted to try and when I was a teenager I did buy Dolly every week I needed that one 🙂 I do subcribe to RT Magazine but have just changed that to online only

    Have Fun
    Helen

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Hi, Helen. How do you like the RT magazine? I subscribed for one year only and was a little disappointed in it. And it’s very pricey, so I finally discontinued it. Maybe it’s less expensive online?

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Helen, I’m also interested in whether you are enjoying RT. I used to read that sometimes but have let it drop.

      And Dolly? I haven’t heard of that. Was it about dolls?

      • Helen says:

        Cassondra and Jo

        I do like RT magazine but must be honest I don’t always read it I have lots of them still in the plastci cover since the online one was available and I often skim it and look for things that interest me and yes the online version is cheaper.
        And Dolly magazine was a teenagers delite about fashion and make up and celebrities I am not sure if it is still around these days

        Have Fun
        Helen

        • Cassondra Murray says:

          Helen, that’s what made me eventually quit on magazines–I had year-old ones lying around in those plastic wrappers. At some point I said, “this is ridiculous. I can’t throw it away because I haven’t read it. And I don’t have time to read it.”

          I went on a purge and tossed out a bunch that hadn’t even been opened. *hangs head*

  • Laurie G says:

    My parents received LIFE, TV GUIDE, SEVENTEEN and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.

    I receive paper copies of FOOD NETWORK, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING and TASTE OF HOME.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Laurie, do you remember the old days when TV Guide was smaller, but much, much thicker than today? I always got lost trying to find where my show was on the local channels. Too much information. I really like the lean, sleeker version.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      OH! Laurie, I didn’t even realize Food Network was a paper magazine! I’m on that site all the time, looking for recipes. I totally missed that they had an actual paper version.

      And I used to subscribe to Taste of Home. I still have stacks of that magazine, which are doing me no good. I need to take them and give them to a hospital for waiting rooms or something.

  • Mozette says:

    I used to be a magazine junkie… a few years back I used to buy ‘Writer’s Journal’ magazine and other writing magazines – all from the USA… but they were few and far between and I was forever trying to find them in various places. And subscribing to them was horribly expensive.

    Then, a bright spark from my hometown of Brisbane thought to make it big in Sydney and start up Good Reading Magazine! What a great mag this is! However, it had a rocky start… there were insiders who were big on trying to bring her down – the distributors mainly – who wouldn’t deliver the magazines to anywhere in Queensland; instead dumping just south of the border!
    So, when she found out – from a certain Brisbanite fan (moi!) that nobody here was getting their orders (yep, I tramped around to all the newsagents I could think of around Brisbane city and asked if they had received their copies of Good Reading on her behalf – as she gave me the mailing list), well, she was in search of a new trucking company who didn’t mind traveling over the border – it’s not like we need papers or ID to cross over it.
    Anyway, the problem only got worse. It’s now a very popular magazine – so much so, I can’t find a copy when I want one. So, now, I fork out $100 a year to subscribe…. and it’s well worth it.

    Oh… and for my good samaritan work at letting her know she was losing money? I got a year’s free subscription to Good Reading – and an online subscription which hasn’t run out for the last 3 years. 🙂

    Now, that’s good PR. 😀

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Great story, Mozette!

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Mozette, what a great story! And what a cool thing you did by campaigning to get the magazine you wanted! It sounds like a wonderful resource.

      • Mozette says:

        It’s a funny thing about cities here in Australia.

        Sydney and Melbourne are huge cities – as they were settled first. But Brisbane and Darwin are smaller as we were settled last… and so we’re known as the underdogs in anything to do with business, comic-cons or any bands, famous people visiting or anyone from the Rich List trying to find a place to either live or build a hotel around Australia.

        Now, if anyone chooses Brisbane as a desination, people in Sydney and Melbourne snort and ask why the hell they’d want to go there, but then, get told off that we’re a little backwater town that’s gone nowhere, done nothing and know nothing of the outside world…. um… we haven’t been left in the Twilight Zone. And no we don’t have Daylight Saving, but that’s just our charm… at least we don’t have to worry about jumping backwards or forwards an hour, we kick back and enjoy our weather, cyclones, heat and cold…

        But when one of us Brisbanites happen to try and live south of the border, it’s people in those cities who make it hard for us. I’ve experienced it when I was in Melbourne… people just didn’t like it when a cheery Queenslander happily grinned at them through the freezing cold temperatures and said: ‘Good morning, isn’t it a gorgeously wonderful day!’ they just grunted and told me to bugger off. 😛

        Oh well, can’t please everyone 😀

        • Cassondra Murray says:

          Mozette, how interesting!

          Perhaps someday you can come to the US and teach a class on the vagaries of boundaries and snobbery in Australia!

          I’d take that class for certain!

  • Minna says:

    Do you like magazines? Yes.

    Do you read paper or have you gone the online route? Paper, of course.

    What magazines were in your house when you were a kid? Not sure if I can remember all of them. My parents got at least a magazine called Pellervo. The name comes from the name Sampsa Pellervoinen, who is a mythological person from Finnish mythology, who sows all vegetation on earth, all the forests, swamps, meadows, and rock lands too. So you can guess that the magazine was directed at farmers. I on the other hand read Garfield and Uncle Scrooge magazines and the bank where I saved my pennies sent me “Gold Piggy” magazine every month. When I got a bit older and learned some English I read Newsweek, Mad and National Geographic.

    What are your favorites now? I buy or read at the library magazines about science, history, psychology, food and crafts.

    Do you subscribe to any? Maku magazine. It’s a Finnish magazine for foodies.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Hi, Minna! It’s very interesting to me what magazines are popular in different countries.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Hi Minna,

      I’m like Jo. I love hearing about the magazines from other countries. So different, but also the same in many ways–

      LOVE the description of the farming magazine and where the name originated. How cool.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    A delightful blog, Cassondra. Thanks for sharing for love of certain kinds of magazines. I must admit that my “pile” of magazine subscriptions has dwindled since I don’t have time to read them all. I’ve never tried on-line magazine reading. Like you, it seems so wrong, even though I do all my book reading on my kindles.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Jo, don’t you get frustrated that you have so little time to read ANYTHING?

      One constant for me is needing the flow of images to keep my muse fed and watered. It took me several years to realize that’s what was happening, and even though I know, it’s easy to let it slide.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Oops, fave magazines. TV Guide. Sorry, I’m a TV junkie and I always mark my magazine up so that I can DVR my favorite shows. Second, I really enjoy ET (Entertainment Today), but it expired ink November and I didn’t renew it. It’s a weekly issue and quite pricey. However, the powers that be haven’t gotten my message of cancellation, so I’m still getting the issues for a bit longer. I might try that one online, however.

    And finally Good Housekeeping. It’s not so much that I enjoy the magazine as that I like looking for new, low-fat recipes to clip out.

    BTW, we called those old catalogues (JC Penney and Sears) wish books, too. My sister and I always cut them up and made paper dolls with them. Fun times!

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Jo I got frustrated at Cook’s Illustrated last November because of their subscription policies. They sent me a “this is your final issue” notice in early November. I made out the check, stamped the envelope and went to file the stub in my magazines file when I saw I’d paid last year in March.

      That ain’t a year, yaknow? [ /bad english]

      I called and they made no apology. “That’s just how it’s done.”
      “Then you can keep your magazine.”

      I learned a while back not to subscribe through those school sales campaigns. I feel bad about that, but if I paid for three years, often I got only one and they were hitting me up again. I learned to keep a little note on when I sent the check. I’d much rather be able to just send it and forget it, but they make mistakes too, like everyone else.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Jo, we used to make paper dolls from them too! Do you remember Betsy McCall dolls? :>

  • Patty L. says:

    I like People (gossip whore that I am), Sports Illustrated (sports fan) and Travel (I want to see everything). I like to live vicariously through others can you tell? 🙂

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Patty, I love Travel Magazine too! And I often flip through People looking for inspiration for characters.

      Once again, it’s the flow of images of those beautiful places and interesting faces.

  • catslady says:

    I’ve gone cold turkey on magazines. I just wasn’t reading them. I use to order quite a few when I worked and then even more when my children had to sell them for fundraising lol. Although when young I can only remember my mother getting Reader’s Digest and that was later on. My mom was to penny conscious to buy them and although she is a reader now, I never remember my parents ever sitting down and reading anything but the daily paper. I loved reading from the very beginning but it’s something I think I learned on my own lol. We didn’t have a library close to our home but it was near our school, so I was always taking books out (plus the small school library) and in the summer she would take us once a week.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Catslady, I see we are in the same boat…the not reading.

      I have to wonder if a lot of people are having those issues. I read a few years ago that magazines were struggling because people were all under such a time crunch they didn’t read periodicals any more.

      Readers Digest was in the homes of so many of my friends, but we never subscribed. I think it was expensive, as magazines went back then–if I’m remembering right. My mom did get Guidepost for a while. I didn’t love it, but I’ll read a cereal box if that’s all there is available, so I devoured those too. *grin*

  • EC Spurlock says:

    Like you, Cassondra, my time is too limited for magazines these days, but I do miss my Canadian Living. My friend in Canada always sent me a subscription for Christmas, and they always had the best recipes and a lot of good health info that you just couldn’t get in the States. Unfortunately as the years went on they started to get more trendy and the recipes were filled with expensive and hard-to-find (for us) ingredients, and when they went totally online we agreed to let the subscription run out. But like you I saved a lot of them and now am going through them and pulling out the best recipes and tossing the rest. Just made my son’s birthday cake from a CL recipe from 1988, and he says it’s the best birthday cake he ever had!

    My “wish book” was Victoria, which my sister sent me for a while. The lifestyle to which I wish I could be accustomed. I did save many of the gorgeous photographs as design inspiration.

    When I was young, my favorite mag was Calling All Girls, a very feminist tween magazine that ran short stories featuring adventurous, empowered girls solving mysteries or just dealing with the everyday problems of life, interspersed with practical articles about things like how to share a room with a sibling without killing each other. Later they changed the name to Young Miss and now it is just another boys-and-makeup teen magazine, which I find very disheartening.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      OH! EC, I remember Young Miss! I’d forgotten about that magazine. I subscribed for a while, before I got Seventeen. It was pretty good when I was subscribing, but it had already started to move a bit toward the hair and makeup and boys themes. It was still more “content” oriented than Seventeen ever was though. At least at that time.

      And Victoria Omygosh, that’s a stunning magazine. I don’t know if they still produce it, but I had a few friends who subscribed. Expensive, and worth it just for the amazing images.

  • Dianna Love says:

    I remember Highlights, CAssondra, and gave subscriptions to all my nieces, nephews and godkids while they were small. I stopped all magazine subscriptions but my husband still gets motorcycle and cooking magazines. I like to buy them when the urge hits me, which only happens on occasion, but I do love going to the house of a friend of mine and reading the tons that she gets. 🙂 And I like reading my husband’s cooking magazines… so I can earmark suggestions. 🙂

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Hi Dianna! *waves madly*

      The cooking magazines are the ones I can’t give up. I remember seeing one of your husband’s Chili Pepper magazines and deciding I wanted to get that one for a year. I keep forgetting to look for it. *writes this down*

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Dianna! Good to see you!

      I love going to friend’s houses and seeing what mags they get. Grins. That’s how I found Garden and Gun. Grins.

      I’ve stopped a ton of the mags I used to get and read religiously. They were just too much junk. Still miss some of them, but not many!

  • Cassondra, what an interesting post. I must say we were never a magazine family although my grandmother used to get the English Women’s Weekly mags for the knitting patterns. That made me very happy as they included a romantic short story and two serialised romantic novels. Used to devour all her back copies over my summer holidays when I was in primary school.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Anna, don’t you miss the novels in magazines?

      I do. Though I can’t argue with their decision to not do that so much these days. If I can’t spend the time to read articles, I suppose they figure I can’t spend the time to read a novel.

      Honestly though, the novel might bring me to the magazine when nothing else would.

      • Cassondra, I read a lot of excellent stories in magazines over the years. The women’s mags here have pretty much given up publishing fiction too. It’s odd – I always read it, I can’t imagine I was alone. And I discovered some wonderful authors in the English Women’s Weekly. Haven’t seen one of those in years – wonder if they still publish romantic fiction!

  • Deb says:

    I like MIDWEST LIVING, Cassondra. It has recipes and places to visit in this region of the country. There is also a new magazine I like called OUR IOWA (along the lines of Farm and Ranch magazine and Birds and Blooms, which I like). But, it’s expensive, so my mother passes her old issues on to me. I used to like and read GUIDEPOSTS. I used to read the paper every day, but we just buy the Sunday edition now.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Woops, I hit the wrong “reply” button. Deb I answered your comment but it’s in it’s own box. :0/

      Moving too fast.

    • Deb – I used to read MIDWEST LIVING as well. It always made me want to take day trips our spend a night in the Bed & Breakfasts they featured.

  • Cassondra Murray says:

    Deb, that’s so cool that you have Midwest Living. I love region-specific magazines, and we might have one down here, but I haven’t seen it.

    Southern Living really doesn’t count, as it’s become so much more than just a “southern” magazine now, IMO. I love it, but something like “Our Iowa” would be so cool for any state.

    I used to actually subscribe to Adirondack Life because I had some books using that area as a setting. That magazine was gorgeous.

  • Cassondra –

    Fun post! I remember reading HIGHLIGHTS as a kid – loved the hidden picture puzzles – and A BOY’S LIFE. I had older brothers in boy scouts – that was their magazine but it had features I liked. My parents had READER’S DIGEST. I read some of the stories, but I loved the jokes and humor sections.

    I haven’t renewed my magazine subscriptions as I just can’t seem to find the time to enjoy them. We still get PAINTING and PASTELS in the hope that some day I’ll get back to painting. HEALTH mainly because I thought osmosis would kick in and I’d lose weight because I got the magazine 🙂 Many cooking magazines – my daughter’s interest. BRITIAN and SCOTLAND for research.

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Hey girlfriend! Isn’t Garden and Gun a fun magazine? And Garden Design….swoon. :>

    As you well know, I love the magazines! As a kid, we got Highlights too, and National Geographic. Dad got Popular Science, so I sometimes read that. We always had Southern Living and Progressive Farmer. :>

    My sister glommed onto Vogue and Glamour, so I sometimes looked at those too. Tean Beat and Tiger Beat…oh, the teen years! Grins.

    Now, it’s Garden and Gun, Southern Living, Garden Design, Traditional Home, and occasionally Town and Country. :> I’ll buy O, the Oprah Magazine and Martha Stewart on the newsstand sometimes.

    I’m with Donna too, I want some Scotlant and Britain mags!

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      I used to get Vogue. I liked it okay, but just have no need for it now. I have my own funky sense of style and don’t have a reason to be trendy. I have to say, I love love LOVE the awesome ad shots. Some of the clothes are just fugly, but the exotic locations and the creativity involved are wonderful.

      • Jeanne Adams says:

        Aren’t they hideous, some of them? OMGosh! Last time I was traveling, I started to pick up Vogue, flipped through it and shuddered. Snork!!

        I used to get Architectural Digest, but it took a turn back in the 90’s toward uber-modern architecture. So not my favorite, so after a while, I just stopped getting it. Sigh.

        • Cassondra Murray says:

          Jeanne, that’s why I’ve never subscribed. Well, that and the price.

          It has been ALLLLLLLL ultra modern oriented for years now.

          And then it took a turn toward what I call “retro modern”–design colors and lines from the 1950s, tweaked with a current modern edge.

          I don’t like it. I like a little warmth in my rooms. Not clutter. But not a sterile, cold, over-metalic and hard-surface, hospital feel either.

          And I don’t care if you make the hard surfaces screaming aqua or orange. It’s still cold with those lines. Just sayin.

  • Cassondra, how fun! I think my parents’ house plans were ordered from Progressive Farmer.

    My parents subscribed to Guideposts, which resided on the back of the porcelain seat in their bathroom, and Reader’s Digest, which resided on the coffee table. (I hope that’s not TMI) For a while, they got National Geographic, which was always fascinating. I had a subscription to Seventeen and, if I remember correctly, American Girl or something like that–this was back before the doll franchise was born.

    I wanted a subscription to Boys Life because it had great SF comic strips in the back, as I’d discovered on my regular trips to the library with my dad, but my mom, alas, did not consider it appropriate for a girl. :-/

    My parents gave me a subscription to Southern Living when I got out of school. For many years, they also gave me the annual Southern Living Cookbook. I’m not sure whether this was wishful thinking on their part, since I have only slightly more experience with a glue gun than I do with a howitzer and have never loved cooking. But there are some handy recipes in the cookbooks!

    I used to subscribe to British Heritage, but the articles grew increasingly less substantive and the magazine, increasingly thinner, so I gave it up. I do miss the beautiful pictures, though.

    If I had time to read more magazines, I would get Archaeology Today, History Today, and National Geographic. But I don’t have time. We get The New Yorker, a holdover from the days when we could go to NYC a couple of times a year, and we do manage to read at least parts of it.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Hahahaha! Nancy said,

      I have only slightly more experience with a glue gun than I do with a howitzer and have never loved cooking.

      I’m still laughing out loud. This is such a very Nancy thing to say.

      I would love Archaeology Today, but am no longer enamored of National Geographic, as I’ve seen their integrity of research slipping over the past few years.

  • Oh, forgot to say I remember Highlights! It was in the orthodontist’s office. I loved the hidden pictures puzzle in it.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Nancy, I’d forgotten the “hidden pictures” part of it, but now that everyone has mentioned it, I remember that being my favorite part. I went to that first thing in each magazine.

  • Cassondra! My sister from another mother! I was such a magazine freak in my college years and all the while I was married. I subscribed to Gourmet, Food and Wine, Southern Living, Country Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Birds and Blooms, National Geographic, you name it. I had at least a dozen magazines coming to the house every month. Gradually I let those subscriptions go. I have at least eight years of the magazine Reptiles in those magazine holders on a shelf. I have at least that many years of the magazine Birds and I have 3 to five years of another couple of magazines on pet birds.

    I still buy National Geographic every month off the magazine rack at Walmart. LOVE to read it cover to cover and you never know when an article might spark a story idea.

    Now I subscribe to magazines for research purposes only – Discover Britain , British Heritage , Britain. The articles are always interesting and the photo essays are great research!

    I guess I could subscribe to some of these magazines online, but I do love being able to hold the magazine in my hand and refer back to it if I need to when I am writing.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Louisa, you are so DEAD ON about the magazines being good inspiration. Ideas are everywhere, but some sources yield better results than others. Magazines and (especially)newspapers with good features are where I get so many.

      People say to me, “how do you come up with something to write about?”

      We did this exercise in journalism school. We had to take a copy of yesterday’s paper (small town), and come up with 75 story ideas from that one (very small, very thin) newspaper. It was good learning. Ideas are everywhere. But some of those in-depth magazine articles spark ideas for whole characters!

  • Susan Sey says:

    Okay, I have had to ruthlessly prune my magazine addiction. I desperately love shiny, glossy pictures of beautiful things & people.

    Which is why the one magazine I still allow myself, even though it’s deadly expensive & a *weekly*?

    People. I love me some People. My excuse? it’s hereditary. My mom has a subscription, my aunts have subscriptions, my sisters all have subscriptions. It would be like divorcing myself from the family to quit People.

    Maybe it’s the family culture talking here, too, but I feel like–of the gossip rags–People is the kindest. Also, it includes recipes, true crime stories, and how-they-lost-all-that-weight stories. And the celebrity gossip it does have usually isn’t cruel or mean-spirited.

    And we all need a vice. People is mine. I’ll own it. 🙂

    But I’m really intrigued by the Gun and Garden thing. I like gardens & have always been intrigued by guns, being a big fan of books and movies that Go Boom. Will have to explore this further….

  • Becke says:

    Cassondra,
    I was going to say no to the first question, but I do and have read a few. For years I had every Arabian Horse World for the years we subscribed.

    Do you like magazines? I always thought they were a time burner, but they have some great articles.

    Do you read paper or have you gone the online route? I love the NYT. However, I don’t buy the Sunday times as I used to.
    Local paper and it makes my dh crazy if it’s late as in after 5am.

    What magazines were in your house when you were a kid?
    Highlights
    Redbook
    Seventeen
    Horse and Rider

    What are your favorites now?
    RWR
    AARP

    Do you subscribe to any?
    RWR
    AARP

    Are there other Southern Living fans out there?
    Grocery Store Line Entertainment!

    Anybody else out there an image junkie like me?