they pay to kiss your feet

since there's no one else around, we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know. then our skin gets thicker from living out in the snow.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

mad about magazines

Today, while sitting in the waiting room of the doctor’s office before learning that the annoying little problem I’ve been having is only my third urinary tract infection of the year, I picked up a copy of Better Homes and Gardens to do some reading. Only, the pages felt more like tissue paper and less like the quality paper stock Meredith magazines generally print on. And then there was the issue of the wrinkling. The pages were wrinkled and old-looking, and the colors were fading and then I noticed that what I was holding in my hands in a waiting room in 2006 was the summer issue of Better Homes and gardens from 1998. I remember that summer well. It was my last summer before college. I was a lifeguard and a girlfriend and an antsy teenager counting down the days until the dorm opened and I could move to Columbia to start my college life. I don’t, however, remember that the trends were very shabby chic and very floral. I remembered that today, though, as I paged through the magazine. I went page by page and was thrilled with the shelf life that this single issue retained. I’m obsessed with all things magazine — the business, the writing, the design — I did major in it for crying out loud. And through my thick veil of obsession, I catch people second-guessing the medium that is a magazine. Saying that print journalism, that print media is going to phase out. That the Internet will replace it and that people won’t need the words typeset and meticulously designed on pages anymore. At least, not on pages that they can hold and take with them. But that’s the thing. Think about it. How easy is it to roll up a magazine or a newspaper and to stick it in your bag or briefcase. To take it on the plane or to bed for a quick read before curling up for the night. The fact is, you can take print journalism with you. And to me, it just seems way more personal. It’s like your favorite newspaper and cup of coffee make more sense when you’re laying on the couch on a Sunday with a bit of news print on your fingers and a warm coffee-filled belly.

So anyway, I am happy to say that the summer issue from 1998 of Better Homes and Gardens in a doctors office in Kansas reminded me why I love magazines and why I will fight to the death to keep them in print.


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