One of my favorite feelings comes about like this — I arrive home after a long day at work, look through the pile of mail on the dining room table and see a new issue of a magazine addressed to me. I love the accessibility that the Internet gives me when it comes to reading a variety of publications, but nothing beats the feeling of holding a print magazine in my hands. It makes the reading experience seem weightier: a team of people like myself made it happen, and I’m about to delve deep into it. A magazine issue is also a piece of art, as it makes a statement about what’s important in the world we’re living in today. I honor that.
I’ve subscribed to different publications over the years, but I have favorites that I return to over and over again. Here are six of them.
The New Yorker.
When I was a junior in college, I attended a lecture where the speaker recommended that we read The New Yorker. I went home, purchased a 2-year print subscription and never looked back.
Getting this magazine every week has exposed me to the best of the best culture writing that’s out there. I often link to articles in my Link Parties because they are, without fail, thought-provoking and unique. Some of my recent favorite reads include a story about Donald Trump’s supporters, the Bouvier affair and a Nora Ephron essay. I don’t read every single article anymore, but I pencil in time every Sunday afternoon to peruse the week’s issue. This magazine has indelibly changed my perspective, and pushes me to be a better writer and a better critic. I hope it never ever ever goes out of print.
As a teenager, I was so obsessed with fashion and haute couture that you could point out a piece of clothing and I could list off all of the details of who made it and what collection it came from. Every few months, my grandma would give me a stack of Vogue. I would pore over and rip out ads and editorials that I would tack up on the wall.
I don’t have time anymore to follow fashion week coverage, but I always make time to read Vogue. Many people discount women’s magazines as less-than journalism, which is really silly. Vogue is the barometer for women’s style, and serves as both a historical and cultural source of information about what we wear, what we buy and where we go. The organization does have a long way to go on its diversity in its editorials and coverage, but it’s moving in the right direction. The clothes the features talk about are often not accessible to most people, but the Devil Wears Prada point is real and salient. It’s a magazine I await every month.
The California Sunday Magazine.
My other grandma gets the newspaper, and in one Sunday edition this magazine was tucked into it. She gave me the copy, which I really enjoyed flipping through. Fast forward to this past spring, when I attended a Pop-Up Magazine event. They’re made by the same people, and I took advantage of a subscription deal — I’m so glad I did.
The California Sunday Magazine is a general interest magazine that features exceptional investigative reporting. If you like reading about a variety of subjects, you’ll like California Sunday Magazine. As a writer, I consider every issue a crash course in writing technique and brainstorming. The editorial staff chooses such interesting subjects, and I have yet to be disappointed. I have loved reading about the paramedics who live on the Texas-Mexico border, a Fort Bragg manhunt and women in the computer science field.
Condé Nast Traveler.
Condé Nast Traveler is a new addition to my monthly print subscriptions, but I instantly fell in love with it. The caveat with this magazine is that everything the editors feature is wildly expensive and inaccessible. It’s so out-of-reach that it’s comical.
Regardless, it’s a fun dream session — I now want to vacation like Giorgio Armani and escape to remote islands off the coast of Washington. I also get a thrill out of the layout and design. If you love fonts and genius photo layouts, Condé Nast Traveler is your magazine. I also love that it’s a little bigger than the standard-sized magazine, which gives the text and photos room to breathe. That kind of material choice can make a huge difference, which is something the digital often can’t do.
New York Magazine.
I often read New York Magazine‘s online content, which is where I get most of my general news from. The writing is always smart. I like getting the magazine sent to my house so that I can spend some extra time reading the cover stories or longreads, which often turn up on this blog.
I also read a lot of The Atlantic on the computer, but I kinda like reading the print magazine more. With the constant refresh of online media, it’s easy for the fun features or sidebars to get lost in the ether. I also like telling myself that I only have a few more pages to read rather than gauging how much more scrolling I have to do. Reading online is wonderful and has turned me on to so many new publications and ideas, but I will always choose print over digital. Every time.
What magazines or newspapers do you subscribe to, or want to subscribe to? Let’s talk about it in the comments.