The Subscription

Last week my Scientific American came with a big “LAST ISSUE” notification. I’ve been putting off renewing it; it’s a little expensive and, truth be told, I don’t always understand what I’m reading. But it was an interest I shared with my dad and I’m sure I would miss it.

Do you have fond memories of any magazines?

41 thoughts on “The Subscription”

  1. architectural digest and dwell on the list
    new yorker mother jones, the smithsonian, esquire, men’s journal,
    i love magazines
    i tried scientific american once years ago but found it to geeky for my level or angle of interest
    i like motorcycle mags but find they are mostly about racing gear i don’t care about
    foodie msgs are wonderful bit honestly with all the stuff online today i can look it up as i need to rather than being inspired

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  2. When I was a kid my folks got my sister and I are subscription to Highlights magazine. Didn’t have a lot of money back then so I think this was a splurge. My mother made a big deal about the fact that we were supposed to share this magazine but being 3 years younger than I am, my sister wasn’t much interested. And she was never the kind of child who liked to do puzzles and quizzes and things that Highlights was famous for. So it didn’t take too long before it was just my magazine and I enjoyed it for a few years.

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  3. I still miss Saturday Review, although I don’t remember much of its contents except the puzzle. After that folded, I got into the New Yorker, but I’m not a New Yorker. But whatever I miss has been replaced by online pubs.

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  4. Farmer magazine, published in St. Paul, at Webb Publishing, where Sandy worked. Successful Farming, Farm Journal. I actually did read some of the articles. Not sure why. Knew I would never farm. Saturday Evening Poat was family ritual. Stores were open late on Wednesday, we would go to town wonder around, sit in car and watch drunks, truly we did that, which was easy o do. One block main street had six bars. Buy Viewmaster reels if we had saved enough pennies. Then go to drugstore, Falks Rexall, and buy a box of ice cream and the Post. At first we had to east the ice cream right away. No power.
    I cannot read at all right now. Hope this is not to big a mess.

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    1. Should add all [five of us then four of us took turns with the Post. They had a quiz in there that showed a close up of a map of the US, never a big city or even middling city. You were supposed to guess the state. Mother Adeline and I did that together, from which I learned much US geography and a love of maps.
      (My eyes have been moisturized enough to see this small type. Meanwhile my son is at the ER in San Diego. His bleeding and weird issue keeps him at the back of the line. It is that bad in ER’s in CA)

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  5. I subscribed to Rolling Stone and Crawdaddy when I was in my teens and early 20’s. They were serious music magazines at the time, with some politics thrown in. At some point Crawdaddy changed its name = I think it was something like “Feature” – and then morphed into something else. Rolling Stone kept its name. I knew something had changed, though, the first time the person on the cover was a movie star and not a musician. It became more of a celebrity news/gossip type thing. I dropped my subscription after that happened.

    It was fun getting those magazines in their prime. Paul Krassner wrote for Crawdaddy. Rolling Stone had some really great interviews, and Annie Leibowitz photos.

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    1. I looked at one, not the articles, a few years ago. My, oh, my. Who thinks all that plastic and retouching is enticing? A travel writer, seeing the centerfolds everywhere in rural Alaska, calls them “impossible women.”

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  6. I’ve subscribed to a lot of magazines over the years. Everything from National Geographic to Cooks, Bon Appétit, and Saveur, to Rolling Stone and Smithsonian. From Ms. magazine, to Atlantic Monthly; from The New Yorker to Mother Jones. You get the idea. Magazine’s I have never had the slightest interest in are magazines about celebrities, like People and Us Weekly.

    The Utne Reader is a long-time favorite. It provides a smattering of information about all sorts of things, just enough to whet the appetite and perhaps indulge in further research.

    Another long-time favorite is The Sun. There are lots of things to like about The Sun, but my favorite is the “readers write” segment. It’s a funny little magazine: no ads, all photos are black and white, and the content is often pretty depressing, but still, it’s a satisfying read.

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  7. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I loved getting the one already mentioned, Highlights for Children. McCalls magazine was another big favorite because of the paper dolls, featuring Betsy McCall, who I felt such affinity for. I do not know why.
    While I was a “tomboy” running around with my stick horse and six-shooters pretending to be Annie Oakley, not a doll-girl, I spent hours with those paper dolls, cutting them out, glueing them to cardboard and changing their clothes.

    Come to think of it, maybe that was why I like Betsy McCall so much–she came with her own clothes in the magazine. All of our dolls at home were pretty naked after the clothes they came with were lost or worn out. Mom was too cheap to buy any clothing for our Barbie and Midge dolls (we each had 1 doll), and what else do you do with a Barbie doll except change the clothes and flirt with the eunuch, Ken.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I think of all that I have missed out on by not growing up in the US! Never had a Barbie, and I’ve never even heard of a Midge doll.

      As a child my biggest treat was getting the occasional Donald Duck Magazine, or Anders And Bladdet as we called it. I don’t think my parents ever subscribed to a magazine, although now that I think about it, we did have a suspicious number of Readers’ Digests lying around. In Danish, of course. I used to like to read the jokes that were placed at the bottom of pages.

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      1. Surprrsed Time and such survive. Whop reads week old news? I guess the extended feature stories carry them. I see them in waiting rooms. Waiting room magazines are rarer and rarer and rarely time or sports illustrated anymore. Health magazines. One of the clinics I go to has taken all of them out because of germ studies.

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        1. Oh for crying out loud. I’m convinced (perhaps conveniently so?) that living in a germ free environment is not desirable. Dust rocks!

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        2. But often very sick people are in those clinics. I’m not for totally germ free but there might be a point to avoiding some of the really bad germs.

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        3. ER required my son to get a flu shot to be treated because studies show medical places are a common source of flu. I agree with PJ in principal, my mother’s belief that everyone has to eat their peck of dirt, but in an epidemic or the like, I agree. with removing magazines

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        4. Yes, for example, when there was a lot of measles going around here last year. Measles is spread very easily and most of the people who got it were Somali people; my clinic has a lot of Somali patients and it seems smart to use extra or extreme precautions in cases like that.

          But, you know, in my personal life, I’m not that worried about it. I don’t sanitize everything in my house (far from it) and I don’t use the wipes that some stores provide to wipe down shopping carts. Although I’ve been sick enough this winter, maybe I should re-think that.

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        5. I agree with you, ljb, but wouldn’t you want someone’s common sense to kick in st some point? I have a compromised immune system, and I don’t expect the rest of the world to adjust to my reality. I remove myself from situations where I know I’ll be at excessive risk.

          I still can’t believe that a jury sided with the woman who bought coffee at a drive-through at McDonald’s, placed it between her thighs, and drove off. She sued when the hot coffee spilled and scalded her. Personally, I would have been too embarrassed to admit to being that stupid.

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  8. There are still thousands and thousands of periodicals published in America, most house magazines or special interest magazines. I think Bill has some background with some of them. The journal for the English teacher organization is about as useless as anything I have ever read. My editing instructor at the U always wanted to subscribe to the American Nut Journal, but you had to belong to the nut growers organization. A local publishing house puts out six different titles of magazines, which are free and found in most local clinics, and I know the waiting rooms of all local clinics. Titles like Minnesota Valley Women or Riverbend Business. Slick magazines on clay paper. Amazed they last. Must have very good sales staff for the ads.

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  9. My first office job was at the office of a small, local, weekly newspaper. Grøndals Avis was a mom-and-pop, local venture in a certain Copenhagen neighborhood. The owner’s wife, who was from the island of Bornholm, and spoke in a dialect pretty difficult to understand by most Danes, wrote all the “food” columns. These consisted largely of recipes for baked goods, most of which she tried out on the office staff before publishing. It was a great place to start a working career.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hi–
    Clyde, I still get The Farmer and Successful Farmer. Hoards Dairyman was good. ‘The Furrow’ is John Deere’s magazine; pretty thin and often features articles of farmers in other countries, which are interesting if not often applicable.
    Smithsonian is a favorite.
    I get ‘PLSN’ (Pro Lighting and Staging news) and I get ‘Lighting and Sound’. For years, ‘Theater Crafts’ was a really good magazine.
    ‘FOH’ (Front of House) is an audio magazine I get.

    I started getting Rolling Stone after giving a guy in a parking lot $20. (What can I say, I was young). I figured I had been scammed, but no, i really did get the magazine. Got Newsweek for a lot of years.
    My brother got Esquire, which was pretty racy for the time.

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  11. Harrowsmith magazine. I subscribed for a year or two and enjoyed it very much. I got my fantastic pizza crust recipe from that magazine and learned about baking it on a pizza stone.

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  12. My sil’s mother (who lives here in Port Huron) just gave me a subscription to National Geographic. My favorite is The Sun, and like PJ the part I enjoy most is storytelling by readers. Smithsonian is always worth a look. I wish I were thoughtful and mature enough to read the Atlantic Journal, but I’m not and I don’t.

    Being in the magazine industry for half a century made me love books.

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  13. I’ve written before here about two of my favorites, Minn. Conservation Volunteer and Big River Magazine.

    Every few years I get sucked into something like Cottage Journal, but takes only a few issues till I abstain again – every issue looks like ever other issue except the seasonal decorations change. Plus I will never spend that much time on décor.

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  14. Just two long-term subscriptions these days — National Geographic and Scientific American (Nat Geo is a gift my Nonny every year). Mental Floss went totally digital about a year ago and Smithsonian had to go because the magazines were piling up. And I usually have some kind of magazine that I got from expiring airline miles. Right now it’s Southern Living and Cooking Light.

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  15. I only have one subscription – National Geographic. Growing up we always had Reader’s Digest as well as McCall’s (I, too,enjoyed the Betsy McCall paper dolls) and Better Homes & Gardens.

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