Thursday, July 10, 2008

Weekly Geek #10 Magazines

I remember getting Highlights magazine as a kid. That was over forty years ago. My favorite feature of each issue was the full page drawing in which a number of small images were hidden within the lines that made up the bigger picture and you were challenged to find them all. I wonder if they still do that? Are they even still publishing? It's been over ten years since I was babysitting regularly and looked for Highlights magazines in the library to check out for them. By then they had changed their look so much that wouldn't have recognized them but for the name. They had gone full color and slick and shrunk several inches in height and width. Highlights magazine also nurtured the seeds of wonder for language and story. I was especially captivated by the riddles, puns, word games and jokes scattered throughout the pages of each issue.

By the time I was eight or nine I began picking up the Reader's Digest which was the only periodical my parent's subscribed to. At first I mostly read just the jokes and the vocabulary building page but would occasionally dip into the articles. By the time I was twelve I was reading it cover to cover and did so pretty much every month until I left home at 21.

We've seldom been in a position to afford magazine subscriptions since then. But I have a faint memory of subscribing to Writer's Digest for at least one year at some point. I very, very occasionally bought single issues of a magazine when it featured something important to me--something about writing or writers or publishing or books; some kind of investigavite journalism; short stories and/or poetry; articles about cutting edge science or technology; articles with photography of exotic (all most anything not 1960s suburban America was exotic to me) places or cultures.

But for most of my adult life I satiated thos magazine hungers the same way I satiated most of my book hunger--via the local library.

There were two ways to do that. The first and most obvious was to check them out. The second was to take from the rack by the entrance where people could 'recycle' the magazines they were done with. Only my hometown Longview library and the old Phoenix branch building had those racks though. We didn't have room in the temp building we moved into in the summer of 2005 and so far I haven't seen them reinstate them at the new building. It is probably just as well. Magazines are one of the things I have hoarding issues with.

Following is a list of some of the magazines that often attracted me:
Mother Jones*
Writer's Digest
The Writer
The New Yorker*
The Atlantic Monthly*
Redbook (years ago and it was mostly for the fiction which I heard they stopped publishing but I can't confirm that rumor as I haven't looked; in fact I can't even confirm they are still publishing at all. I'm too lazy to Google it.)
O Magazine
Scientific American
National Geographic*
The Nation
The New York Times Book Review*
and several of the pulp science fiction and fantasy magazines whose exact titles are blending into each other in my very tired mind.

*These are magazines I've occasionally visited online in the last couple years. Which has been the extent of my magazine reading since I lost access to that giveaway rack at the old library building. Except I do still have about a foot-high stack of magazines 3-5 years old that came from that rack and used to read them while sitting with my husband's grandmother in the last two years of her life but I don't think I've picked one up since she passed a year ago last month.

More Weekly Geeks:
Puss Reboots
Literary Feline

5 tell me a story:

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