I’ve been reading a little bit lately. Not quite recovered from my summer reading slump, but – honestly? That’s OK.
I’m trying to be more mindful about what my brain+ body want and need to do, and “sit down and read a book” has been the default for a long time… but I actually want reading to be a purposeful, enjoyable and/or educational experience, not something I do just because I’ve always done it.
What have I been doing instead? Traveling, playing with makeup and perfume, doing little household tasks that I’ve been putting off for too long, exercising, watching too much HGTV and Animal Planet and old JAG episodes, and indulging in magazines.
Yeah, let’s talk about the magazines. I guess this is technically “reading” – but let’s be real, there is a huge difference in flipping through a half-ad glossy vs. getting caught up in a book. This started back in July when we went to Chicago. When we were waiting in the airport, I just could not convince myself to read any of the half dozen books that I brought along for the ride. But I couldn’t just sit there staring at the carpet. So, I grabbed a couple of fashion rags (which I hadn’t touched in years) and… they were actually kind of fun?
In the meantime, I’ve “rediscovered” my public library’s free online magazine options, which means I can borrow a whole bunch of them without having to pay or feel bad about wasting too much paper.
So, because I still feel the urge to be opinionated on the internet about whatever media I’m consuming, here are some quickie reviews for a few magazines!
Fashion & Beauty
- Harper’s Bazaar
- Marie Claire
I like that these magazine focus generally on fashion and beauty topics, but some of them also includes a healthy dose of lifestyle content (budgeting, relationship advice), interesting celeb interviews, and the occasional “deep thoughts” editorial. The body-positive, feminist stuff is also appealing to me (although there’s plenty of questionable content to go along with). And, not gonna lie, the occasional perfume/makeup samples are pretty fun too!
Science & Nature
- National Geographic
- Popular Science
- Scientific American
- Texas Parks & Wildlife
Anthropology, tech, ecology, medical news, even travel guides — I guess I just love the variety of “nerdy” topics that these magazines cover. OK, so I usually skip the articles about the newest smartphones or hunting/fishing, but the other brain-stimulating stuff is right up my alley.
I really prefer certain food blogs and cookbooks to most magazines, because it seems like a lot of homemaking/foodie rag recipes are just nicely-photographed recycled ideas or – worse – not even properly tested, kitchen disasters waiting to happen. Bon Appétit is an exception to that. Sure, sometimes the featured foods can be a little kooky, but I usually find at least 1 or 2 worthwhile recipes/ideas.
Family Tree Magazine
Genealogy is a hobby of mine, and this magazine is fun to browse through, even if I’m not currently researching anything in particular or in need of any of the included (and often repetitive) advice.
This magazine is great for trivia addicts. It’s basically educational, but in an off-the-wall kinda way that’s great for folks with short attention spans. I think it would also be the perfect present for your nerdy friends, if you’re looking for holiday gift ideas already.
Mother Earth News
I actually have mixed feelings about this one! It really does scratch a kind of crunchy, tree-hugger itch for me. (I may have insane fantasies of suburban homesteading with chickens, heirloom tomatoes et al., but I’m also too afraid of wasps and spiders to go in our backyard from like June – August.) But the emphasis on “natural” medicines and the constant verbal frowning in the general direction of “chemicals” makes me want to rip the dang thing up and use it for toilet paper.
I have to confess that I get most of my news from Twitter (actual journalists/news outlets on Twitter, though, if that helps you hate me less). However, I’m really interested in keeping up with a smattering of local + state goings-on, and the variety of subjects covered by this magazine hits that sweet spot for me.
Despite all the running I’ve been doing lately, yoga really is my exercise of choice (even though I don’t really subscribe to all the spiritual stuff that often goes along with it). This magazine features lots of different poses, advice about finding balance or building strength, and occasionally interesting articles on things like incense or healthy veggies.
So, talk to me — do you ever indulge in magazines? Does your library offer them for free, too?