Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Consider the Magazine

For some reason, magazines are especially precious to hoarders. Not as dear as books, but up there pretty high on the list. They're so pretty, with the photographs, drawings, and even the ads. They're seductive, with their promises of renewal, knowledge and fortune.

I have about five years worth of Martha Stewart Living magazines. They're close to the last of my magazine stash. I let the bulk of the scrapbooking ones go last year, a hard decision, but the right one. Now, I'm pondering the MSLs. Can I let them go? Well, I never refer to them. I have the The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook which has most of the recipes from the magazines that I actually use. I pulled out a lot of the recipe cards (back when the magazine had them) and those are in my recipe card box. I even have a couple of annuals, from the few years they were published, that have every single recipe from that year's magazines. And, on Martha's website, one can search and find just about every recipe published.

But then, I think of the craft ideas. The lovely articles on whiteware, early American pottery, kitchen linens, dusting techniques. How to make a pincushion from an acorn.

These magazines are the ultimate in aspirational goods. I want to be a Martha, a creative, engaging, powerful person in charge of my life and surroundings. I want every meal to be not only nutritious, but bursting with colour and freshness, and seasonality. I want my bed linens to be fresh and scented with lavender or lilac, and to coordinate with the colours of my walls and my art.

Will keeping these magazines allow me to live this dream? No. Will I ever be able to live that dream? Yes, if it's important enough to me. Is it? Only I can decide that.


Librarian Lee said...

It's the Real Simple magazines that I can't let go of. Is there something ironic about that?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. I was just going to offer you my stash of New Yorkers! Whatever shall I do with them now? Plus my copies of Cooking Lite? And DH's Sunsets? ANSWER: Give them to the Seattle VA hospital. Each time I go up there as a participant in a reseach project having nothing to do with the military or the government, I see both men and women reading books and magazines of all kinds.
Momma Pauline

Monica said...

I'm the same way with my back issues of Victoria magazine. I sold three years' worth plus the first issue a few years ago. I mildly regretted it and was ecstatic to find several issues at a yard sale last summer. I find them inspiring to glance through now and then. I also like Country Living. I purchased two magazine holders. Most of the Victorias take up the most space but I can fit other issues in there. I made a deal with myself that the only magazines I can keep are whatever fits in those holders. If I bring in other issues, some of them have to go.

Jay Bazuzi said...

Magazines are dangerous. They keep coming, every month. They look great, because they're well funded.

They make their money on advertising, not on subscription fees, which means that their advertisers are counting on the readers to spend money on products. And of course, buying products will only make the clutter worse.

Most information I want out of magazines is available online, for less money, without the delay of printing & mailing, and without the physical clutter of paper.

In my decluttering, I threw many magazines that I had collected, and am much lighter for it.

Let 'em go, I say!

paisley penguin said...

I just went through - I kid you not - a three inch stack of pages I had ripped from magazines like Real Simple, Victoria and BH&G. They had literally been sitting around fora few months.

Usually the pages are recipies, crafts and decorating ideas I want to do. I have found in this information age that most of these things I can find online and bookmark.

Last night I purged and am down to literally a half inch. Of that I just need to get online and find a few web pages for recipies and knitting patterns (knitty is wonderful!) and bookmark them then I can purge some more.

I am going to scan the decorating ideas in to my computer. That way I will not have the paper clutter anymore.

Next project - scrapbooking supplies and paper. I LOVE paper, ribbon and scrapbooking stuff! Maybe one day I will post a page I am particularily pround of on my blog.

Keep up the good work!



Linz said...

Magazines just make me feel guilty, if I keep them long enough. It's really better to chuck 'em and remember that there are more where that came from, pretty pictures and ideas both.