Monday, November 21, 2005

Wherein I make a shameful confession

My name is Wordgirl and I'm a...uh....a....magazine whore.

**pause here while the similarly afflicted respond with a friendly-sounding, "Hi, Wordgirl".**

You heard me correctly. I love magazines. This love in no way affects my uncontrollable affection for books, but that is another--and much longer--post. Considering that "Book Ho" was one of the many names I was considering for this blog, I thought I should mention it.

I came by this love honestly. My mother and both my sisters are also suckers for the slick and shiny power of the periodical. I don't know exactly when it started, but I know Christmas was involved. I cut my teeth on the Christmas issue of Good Housekeeping. All those wonderful photos of happy families with clear skin and good hair celebrating the holidays. And though it was technically not a magazine, the chunky Christmas edition of the Sears catalog served a similar purpose. The source from whence all good toys came, it was like having a big brick of crack delivered to our door.

I had to make do with reading TIGER BEAT, TEEN AND SEVENTEEN while standing at the magzine rack at the grocery store, because I was not really allowed to blow my money on something that might give me "ideas". By the time I was old enough to call the shots on that kind of reading I had already moved on to harder GLAMOUR and MADEMOISELLE and occasionally COSMOPOLITAIN, though I confess I never really identified with the contents.
It was also clear that I didn't possess boobs the size of small flotation devices that seemed necessary to be a Cosmo Girl.

It was just as well. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and MS. came along and forced me to use the part of my brain that wasn't reserved for helping me match my purse with my shoes. And all these years later, I'm still buying magazines. Subscribing or buying off the rack. I'll buy an issue of DOMINO just for the picture of a wall color I want to try or because I like the idea of making a coffee table out of old pieces of wall trim, and I'll snag an issue of BELIEVER because there's an interview with David Sedaris in its pages.

Nothing can send a shot of endorphines coursing through my veins like the fiction issue of THE NEW YORKER or any of my arty mags like CLOTH, PAPER, SCISSORS, or HOME COMPANION. VANITY FAIR gets delivered to my door, but I'll buy ATLANTIC MONTHLY, MENTAL FLOSS, UTNE READER, YOGA JOURNAL, BOOKMARKS, RUNNER, or ROLLING STONE off the rack. Sometimes, if I'm feeling "flush", I'll buy them all at once. Once I even bought the premier issue of something called HEBE magazine...and I'm not even Jewish. I call that a "drive-by" purchase.

I draw the line at anything to do with NASCAR, tabloid trash (though they look interesting in a "Freak Show" kind of way) or that magazine for folks who enjoy raising ferrets.

So, there! It's all out in the open and I can pull out that copy of PEOPLE that I've been hiding and judge for myself whether or not Matthew McConnaghay (sp?) is really the Sexiest Man Alive.

Want to join my support group? Tell me what mags you read.


Anonymous Shrinking Violet said...

WG - We both know if I'm desperate for a new mag, I'll buy GOLF DIGEST if I have to..and I have to snif a magazine as husband (The Man) says I look like a freak at the bookstore...sniffing each glossy page!

1:25 PM  
Blogger karla said...

I love Psychology Today. I also like Maxim. My secret indulgence is People, which I'm ashamed to read but break down about 3 times a year for. I subscribe to Self or Shape (I alternate) just for workout motivation. Real Simple is okay if someone buys me a gift subscription--otherwise I don't get it because it's hit or miss each month whether I'll like it. Currently I subscribe to Parents or Parenting or something--I'm a new mom and figure I need all the advice I can get, although so far I haven't really been reading the magazine, just letting it pile up. My grandmother-in-law insists on buying me a subscription to Southern Living each year, which I hate and refuse to crack open. My mother-in-law buys us a subscription to Texas Monthly, which we never read.

1:53 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

SV- sniffing is how I finally discovered a perfume that I actually like. "Lovely" by Sarah Jessica Parker

Karla- Southern Living just makes me feel bad because the landscaping around my house doesn't look like the homes in most of the issues. But every month features a killer pork or chicken recipe, which is useful. I also had a subscription to Parents...back when the kids were babies. When I get my hair cut (in the city where you live, by the way) I'm always glad to get lost in People, US, and InStyle.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Shrinking Violet said...

My favorites for fashion are VOGUE and BAZAAR. Have a subscription to REAL SIMPLE. But, really, how many ways are there to organize your closet. Also received as a gift THE NEW YORKER. Excellent. SOUTHERN LIVING's paper is too thin and the ink comes off on my hands. But for me, there has to be good design and photo editing. I'm also picky about the kind of ads that are run. TEXAS MONTHLY's ads look like crap. It ruins the flow.

Shrinking Violet

2:31 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Yes, but Texas Monthly's last cover--Comfort Food--was oddly alluring. But that could be just because I like Chicken Fried Steak and mashed potatoes.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous surcie said...

Swear to God, I'm getting ready to post on the very SAME subject. Coincidence?

3:37 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Great! Can't wait to see it.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

welcome to the addicting world of mags....

i have subscriptions to :

Mary Engelbriet
Real Simple
Martha Stewart Food
In Style
Southern Living
Cottage Living

my name is kate and i am addicted.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Xanx said...

Does Reader's Digest count? Heh. Just one question; do you keep those magazines? Judging from your confession, if you do, your storage place must be HUGE!

6:33 PM  
Blogger The June Cleaver Diaries said...

Anything with celebrity gossip will keep me busy for hours.

I used to be thrilled that my sister-in-law kept an overflowing magazine basket in her bathroom. I'd lock myself in there and sit on the floor and read, just to be away from, well, the in-laws. Then came the day that her husband left a Playboy in there. My first reaction was to Run! Run Away!, but then I thought about rejoining the conversation downstairs. That was the day I discovered Playboy really DOES have good articles. And great airbrushing-- holy cow-- no one can get a bikini line like that. Puh-lease.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Margie said...

Hello. I am John Boy's mother and read your comment on RFK and decided to see who wrote so well and if there was more. I wasn't disappointed. I noticed your favorite books, and they are also among mine and I like magazines some. Have Newsweek and the Smithsonian delivered, but what I want to know is "you don't like NASCAR? !!!" Unlike my son, my husband and I are big nascar fans. We intend to take him to a race in Fontana (near him) next Feb 28th. Sooo much fun. I just ignore the naked beer bellies, tattoo's, and missing teeth. The fan base is getting much more sophisticated, at least in California. Try it! lol

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Jon Deal said...

Runner's World

Food and Wine comes but no one in my household will fess up to subscribing. It just started coming one month.

And I pick up a copy of The Atlantic every now and then, and would love to subscribe, but I'm afraid I'd never get around to reading the whole thing. Used to get The New Yorker, but canceled when I realized I was only reading the cartoons and none of the articles. :-)

I've subscribed to Harper's and Wired since college and much to the annoyance of my patient spouse, I NEVER THROW THEM away.

I think that's the other part of the addiction as xanx mentioned. Do you toss the 'zines? Or treasure them like old friends?

12:03 AM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Family Fun
Southern Living
Texas Monthly

As you can see, I am well rounded. My house will never look like those in SL but the recipes are great! Newsweek keeps me up to date on current events. Family Fun bought an article from me once (almost twice, damn!) Just started getting TM so the jury is still out.

I do not keep magazines. I do keep some of the SL's just cuz they look so nice on the coffee table and make me look like I am all about decorating and cooking. Doesn't every proper home in the south do this?

5:25 AM  
Blogger Plain Jane said...

Real Simple, BHG, Light & Tasty, Woman's Day, People, Maxim, Car & Driver, Playboy, oh my the list could go on...

I'm a sucker for those kids that come to your door to earn money for college... *haha*

7:26 AM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Unfortunately, the magazines do tend to pile up. I keep HOME COMPANION, and CLOTH, PAPER, SCISSORS. There are a couple of issues of several mags that I keep when something happens like 9/11, the death of John Kennedy, Jr.or George Harrison. ROLLING STONE did a big great cover and article when Seinfeld went off the air.

Lastly, I keep THE NEW YORKER for about a year. Then I go though it for any articles I want to tear out. I also tear off the covers and put them into a folder. I'm considering papering a wall of my back bathroom in New Yorker covers.

8:01 AM  
Blogger margalit said...

I'm not a big magazine fan, but I have a friend who is also a MagHo, and she gives us her castoffs every month. She gets Lucky, Oprah, Vogue, Cosmo, Marie Claire, Bazaar, More, InStyle (my personal fave), New Yorker, New York, and various other ones she buys on the newstands. The above mags are all her subscriptions. I feel SO sorry for her mailman.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Rayne of Terror said...

We're not getting any magazines right now, but the subscriptions we've had in the last couple years are:

The Economist
Acoustic Guitar
Yes: Journal of positive outcomes
Weight Watchers

9:33 AM  
Blogger Nessa said...

Matthew is definitely the sexiest man alive and I adore him! DELICIOUS! Anyway - thanks for stopping by, I sure do appreciate it!

12:14 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Sure, I'll join your support group.

My favorite titles are:

Men's Journal
National Geographic Adventure
AARP The Magazine
Movie Maker
Good Housekeeping

10:56 AM  
Blogger Dan said...


I liked Real Simple, but it is strongly a woman's magazine, so I dropped it, and I really was not preparing the recipes which was a strong point of the magazine. Good Housekeeping is better for me.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

shrinking violet,

I always liked the nonfiction articles in The New Yorker especially the science articles. Some of which appeared in those best of the year books.

11:05 AM  

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