Sunday, 22 May 2016

The Recovering Magazine Addict

I've had a lifelong love affair with magazines. So extreme at times it may be surprising that I didn't decide to go and work in the industry... I did have a zine of my own in junior school (I think what would now be year 6) - it was a fashion magazine - only the one copy, hand drawn by me and then passed around my friends (this was 1988, so just printing a few out at home wasn't an option).

The first magazines I remember getting really excited about were Just Seventeen and Smash Hits (probably around about the same time). I used to read my Mum's as well - mostly Ideal Home and Bella, but the obsession got a little out of hand when I was about 12 and discovered Vogue...

Then Harpers & Queen (now Bazaar) and basically anything glossy. At one stage I had 6 years worth of Vogue magazines in my bedroom (ostensibly for research, college sketchbooks - and they were used for this - but mainly because I couldn't let go). I also had years' worth of Melody Maker and NME (when they were in the old newspaper format). I recall moving house with my parents when I was 19 and my boyfriend (now husband) driving me down to the nearest recycling bins to get rid of them all - they obviously meant a lot as I remember this vividly!

Post the move I kept buying them though, but as I left home a few months later I didn't accumulate that many. When we got to London I ended up taking over the bottom shelf of the bookcase in our tiny living room with more Vogue, Living Etc and basically anything glossy or interesting - there were a few short-run zines in there and expensive things on interesting nice smelling papers.

On to the next flat and I started clearing out a bit as I went along (every 6 months or so). Vogue was a given, and Bazaar, In Style, Red, Zest, Runners World...

Then the little man came along - I kept buying the magazines for a while then realised I wasn't reading them. Not easy to read with a baby stuck to your boob - and that's the only time you actually have spare time (when you're not too tired to manage a magazine!), he got a little older though and Mollie Makes came along. A bit of a revelation - a craft magazine that was actually nice and had some things I'd like to make in it. I'd recently been doing some knitting and had started sewing and generally being more creative again so that was fab.

Guess what I did with Mollie Makes though? Yep, hoarded several years' worth - it's OK they made it to the recycling a few months ago, but not before I'd been through every copy just in case! Now I have a few favourites but I'm not currently subscribing to any (this still feels strange as I've been a long term magazine subscriber). Mollie is still one of my favourites but I also like a bit more of a read so Oh Comley, Caboodle, Frankie (shown above), Betty and Uppercase are all magazines I keep an eye out for. Mollie Makes is about as exotic as it gets where I live but I did find Frankie in Sutton the other day (I nearly fell over!).

So, I think I'm managing the addiction quite well? Quality over quantity - something good to read that isn't totally out of fashion a few months down the line. All the magazines above tend to smell good - and are either small or independent which makes me feel good about buying them*.

Are you a magazine addict too? Anything I've not included on my list which you think I'd like, or should I just stop and reign myself in now...?

I've recently had an idea kicking around in my head for a new zine (better than my 1988 effort but not full on magazine - simple and small and cheap - the true spirit of the zine!), however I suspect that's the role of blogs like this one now - my magazine (and it takes up a lot less shelf space).

*Oh, and I do still hoard any magazines I'm featured in - you have to! Everything else goes in the recycling after a few months though...

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