A couple weeks ago, Jessica of My Style Vita asked readers, “Do You Still Read Magazines?” As a long-time magazine lover, I nodded emphatically yes. And ever since, I’ve thought about it every time a new one has shown up in my mailbox.
But like her, I’ve had an up and down relationship with magazines. I LIVED for them in middle and high school. I can still remember how proud I was after I convinced my mom to get me a subscription to Rolling Stone. I’d read it cover to cover and think I was the most knowledgeable music fan to ever live (remember, I was in middle school).
Those first of the month mail calls were the best and I’d spend hours on my bed tackling my mom’s left over stacks of magazines. Everything from People to InStyle to Entertainment Weekly to Vogue. If there was a magazine around, I was reading it.
My love stayed strong all the way through college where I splurged big time on that US Weekly subscription. I just had to know what Paris and Nicole were wearing on their weekend bender’s with Lindsay Lohan. It was an obsession.
After college, I think I subscribed to every fashion magazine on stands but quickly realized there was no way I was going to be able to keep up with them. So slowly I cut down on what I subscribed to. But in the last year, I’ve slowly found myself re-subscribing.
Of course, my taste in magazines has changed a little. I no longer subscribe to US Weekly, mostly because it made me feel bad about myself. Every week it would come, I’d flip through it mindlessly the same way you devour a bag of chips without realizing they’re all gone. And just like mindless eating, I’d feel bad afterwards. Bummed out that I lacked washboard abs, a celebrity bestie and/or a baby shower fancier than my wedding.
Instead, I’ve kept some old favorites and added some others to the mix. Here’s a few of my favorites and why they give me the same excited feeling when I find them in my mailbox that I did when I was a kid.
My RIDE OR DIE. Seriously, I live for my weekly dose of TV, movie and overall entertainment scoop. TV is life and no other magazine talks more about what’s worth binging and what you can skip. It’s my entertainment bible. So much so that I listen to EW radio on Sirius pretty much whenever I’m in the car solo.
The listening/reading combo also helps me feel like I’m still in the loop despite the fact that I rarely, if ever, make it to the movies or have time to finish a book. Plus it’s a quick enough read that I can usually knock it out in one sitting… preferably in the bath with not a kid in sight.
Oh and if you don’t love the Bullseye on the back page, we can’t be friends.
Food & Wine
If Entertainment Weekly is my guide for all things pop culture, Food & Wine is my inner foodies guide to life.
Every new issue inspires me to try out a new recipe, mindlessly wandering through Fresh Market searching for ingredients like a contestant on Top Chef. My results are never quite as pretty as the pictures but usually pretty delicious. Plus, I like to use it as a travel magazine. Since any trip worth taking involves tasty food, I consult their travel features whenever we’re considering a vacation… you know, a trip without kids.
You guys, I may be a magazine hoarder but I think I have every copy of House Beautiful I’ve ever bought or had delivered. Something about it never feels old, even the issues from 5+ years ago.
It may not be the fanciest decor magazine but it makes decorating feel fun and within reach. The home features always feel fresh but equally classic. Never super trendy or too modern. They feel like they could be owned by a friend. Albeit, a super organized, exceptionally on-it friend with badass taste in home furnishings. I also love that they include homes from outside New York or LA. I love a super modern NYC apartment or a perfectly boho Hollywood Hills home but it also feels like a fantasy. The homes they feature look lived in, well-loved and don’t always fall within the expected metropolitan areas.
Is it old lady that organizing makes me both super calm and really happy? Yes, I know it’s weird but I can’t help it.
Real Simple is the perfect mix of aspirational and attainable. The writers talk to you like real people, the tips don’t require a PhD to accomplish and the pictures are oh so pretty. Plus looking at perfectly organized cabinets doesn’t make me feel bad in the way that looking at A-list celebrity bathing suit bods tends to do. I guess I just think there’s at least some chance of having a fancy pantry, I’ve given up hope on the abs.
There’s, of course, some fashion magazines I love. InStyle always gets it right without feeling stuffy or condescending. And I’ve always loved ELLE for their witty, smart writing and beautiful editorials. On the fitness front, Shape is my go-to. So many workouts included in every episode. Last but not least, Cooking Light is an amazing resource if you’re looking for meal planning tips. Their weekly guides allow you to easily plan for the week ahead without going down an internet black hole.
One more reason I’m sticking with magazines, I love making inspirational mood boards. And printing things out seems tedious but ripping things out of magazines still feels fun. Is that old fashioned? If so, I don’t really care. There’s something about holding it in your hand that makes the inspiration a little more real.
What are some of your favorites? Do you still read magazines?