Guest Author - Previous BellaOnline Editor
I love magazines.
I donít know if it is because I canít commit to a book, I donít have enough time to read, or if my attention span has been fried from years of multi-tasking. But an ideal evening for me is curling up with a new issue of one of my favorite magazines with a hot cup of tea.
Over the years I have tried a lot of magazines. When I was younger, I loved getting Cosmo. Then it turned into a trashy sex advice magazine, so I switched to Glamour. Lo and behold, within a year the same thing happened to that one! As it turns out, the Cosmo editor took the helm of Glamour and ruined that magazine too.
Now that I am married and in my 30s, my tastes have certainly shifted away from the magazines that twentysomethings read. I have cultivated my own trusty batch of magazines, which are mostly devoid of the child-centered articles of traditional, mainstream womenís magazines.
Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Real Simple. I just adore this magazine! A few years back, they even featured an article on being child free! It is a bit pricier than other magazines, but each issue is big and thick, and full of great ideas and tips for living a simpler life. My one complaint about the magazine is the price range of the items they feature. I donít know about you, but I wouldnít spend $600 on a purse or pair of pants! The recipes are also a bit snooty, and I havenít tried very many of them. The magazine includes a lot of ďtest-runĒ articles, which have featured the best ice cream, peanut butter, shampoo, etc. Like any magazine, sometimes I read it cover to cover, while other months I skim through the entire thing in an hour. Still, it is one that I look forward to, even if it is a bit heavy to hold up while Iím soaking in the tub!
2. Hallmark. I just started getting this one and already I am hooked. While there are occasional family-themed articles, overall the magazine is just about living a better life. The recipes are good, the photography is amazing, and so far I am enjoying it. The magazine is very glossy, giving a rich texture and feel to the magazine.
3. Time. Recently I received a free mini-subscription to Time. I enjoyed reading more in-depth articles about current events. The slant of the magazine suited my political beliefs, and I enjoyed many of the regular features, including a column that broke things down into numbers (this is how much we spend on fast food in a year vs. how much the average family in a typical third world country spends on feeding themselves in a year). I also enjoyed the celebrity feature, where a famous person answered questions sent in by readers. One thing I didnít like about Time is that it comes once a week! They started to stack up on me, and I discovered that the timely (excuse the pun) nature of the stories didnít work well once a few weeks had passed. When it came time to renew, I declined. But if you have the time for a weekly news magazine, I would recommend Time!
4. Specialty magazines. I subscribe to a few specialty magazines, including Writerís Digest and Preservation (the magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation). If you are looking for magazines that donít dote on family issues, then seek out a specialty magazine in something you love. I enjoy browsing through the racks at Borderís, for example. My husband and I usually go to the bookstore before a vacation, and we each pick out three magazines for the trip. I have gotten some really neat ones, even if I donít end up subscribing. There is a magazine out there for any interest or hobby Ė cooking, birdwatching, tea drinking, travel, fashion, interior design, architecture, and many, many more! For awhile I enjoyed getting a magazine called Bitch, which focused on feminist issues. In the past I have gotten The New Yorker and House Beautiful, but my household budget forced me to edit down my subscriptions. Donít overlook your regional magazines either. Those will be filled with profiles of neat places to visit, as well as issues that are unique to your location. We love Home and Away, which is free with your AAA membership.
I will admit that I do subscribe to Womanís Day, which is the epitome of a child-centered womenís magazine! I get it for the recipes. Honest, I do! I have found some real keepers, like a fabulous squash bisque that has become a centerpiece of my Thanksgiving celebration.
So even though there is currently no magazines that cater specifically to the child free lifestyle, there are many to choose from that donít focus on family all the time. If you have a favorite, let me know and I will post it here so others can enjoy it too!
Here are some of the magazines highlighted in this article: