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>Weekly Geeks #10: Magazines

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I buy a magazine every month, but it’s not for me, it’s for CanadaBoy. He’s addicted to Men’s Health. He had a subscription when he first came here, but when it expired, they gave him fits about renewing because his billing address (Canada) and mailing address (South Korea) were different. Luckily, it can be easily found at What The Book? Since I’m in there all the time, CB has delegated the task to me. It’s damn expensive — the equivalent of $7.00, but I have seen it as high as $19.00 at Kyobo.

Every now and then I’ll succumb and buy a magazine. In 2006, I bought a copy of People that had coverage of the Katrina disaster. Last year, I bought a copy of Bitch, because that issue had an interview with Lisa Edelstein and an article about hoarding. Earlier this year, I bought an issue of The New Yorker, because it had a big feature about Michelle Obama. Lately, I’ve been circling the latest copy of Mental Floss. It’s difficult for me to spend money on magazines because (irrationally, yes, I know!) I consider them “not really reading”. (It’s not just my Tough & Cool Inner Bookworm talking — I never count magazines in any kind of reading total. Just doesn’t occur to me.) Even though I enjoy magazines, they’re read too quickly to justify the purchase on a regular basis. I was like this back in the US as well; I encouraged people to give me magazine subscriptions for gifts.

At work, the Language Center subscribes to Time and Newsweek (editions for Asia), so I fall on them when I see them in the professor’s lounge. Often I scan, but I give the Arts & Culture sections a good going-over. If there’s a book review, I’m off to the photocopier. I’m a little weary of reading business news that’s geared toward Asia, but as a result, I have learned a lot about this part of the world.

My mom often sends care packages — there are some things that are im-frickin’-possible to get over here; (I don’t want to go into detail about that. Trust me. TMI.) Anyway, she always slips in some of her back issues: People, Country Weekly, TV Guide (it’s changed size!) and Soap Opera Digest. When it’s People or TV Guide, I go into a reading coma until the last page is done. Often, I’ll take People to class as yet another example of American culture. They really zone in on the advertisements. If it’s Soap Opera Digest I try to bring myself up to date and figure out who the hell all these new characters are on The Young And The Restless. Country Weekly is boring fluff. I don’t know who all these new singers are and I don’t give a damn, but I mine each issue carefully for the token story about an older star. One time there was a cover story written by John Carter Cash about his famous father; I still have that one.

I didn’t know I missed them, but when I was home during the summers of 2006 and 2007, I fell on copies of Woman’s Day and Good Housekeeping with a hunger and thoroughness that was surprising.

I pined for Entertainment Weekly for a while, then realized that I could read it online.

Looking at this list, it seems like there’s a lot here for something that’s “not really reading.” LOL. Okay, maybe it is reading, but I’ve got to stick to my guns about one point: Magazines aren’t books. When I worked at Wal-Mart during graduate school, it hurt my ears to hear customers repeatedly refer to The National Enquirer or Family Circle as…”Could you leave that book out of the sack, hon? I’m gonna sit over here and look at it while I’m waiting on my prescription.”
Aaaaaggghhh. Maybe my T&CIB has succeeded in totally taking over a tiny part of me.

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