I have a love/hate relationship with magazine subscriptions. Sometimes, I crave reading material, and I love cracking open a new issue and seeing what's going on. I keep back issues and read them again. I sort them by month instead of year, and have been known to consult with seven or eight seasonal issues when planning a special party or event. In busy periods of my life, though, I hate the guilt I get from hearing "read me, please read me" every time I walk by. I don't like the clutter of a stack of unread magazines. I don't like the stress of knowing that there are more than "10 ways to simplify my cleaning routine" and I'm too busy to read them, let alone put them in practice!
I finally freed myself by letting all my subscriptions expire. The hardest to let go was Martha, because I've been a fan for so long. And I was quite worried I couldn't live my best life (or even aspire to it) without my monthly pep talk from Oprah. But I did it... I let them go. And all of a sudden, I had time on my hands and nothing to read. When the band-trip fundraising form came home from school I was an easy sale ..."oh, all right. It's for a good cause, after all." I carefully made my choices, looking for good content and refreshing ideas. Home Companion, Cottage Living, Domino, O at Home ... and one by one I got the thanks-but-no-thanks notes. They've all gone under. The irony is that one consolation prize is a subscription to MSL. I guess it's a good thing, after all.
That's my personal story. Professionally, I wouldn't be where I am today were it not for hobby publications -- both magazines and books. That's why I found Jennifer Perkin's recent post so interesting. Do you think the blog-o-sphere is undoing the print world? Do you read blogs or other online content more or less than print magazines? What about when you want to do a craft project? Do you do a quick online search, or flip through back issues? What about books? I'd love to hear your opinions.