I should preface this post by saying I’m not much of a magazine reader. I used to be, but things changed. There was a time when I’d grab the latest celebrity rags before a train journey, maybe a fashion magazine here and there. I even had a subscription to Vogue. A couple of years ago I decided to go cold turkey on the gossip magazines – blogging and the flood of judgement from total strangers gave me an (incredibly) small glimpse into what that world is like, and I realised they just didn’t make me feel very good about myself. There is enough gossip and judgement on social media as I discussed here, so why pollute my relaxation time with that? Fashion magazines also fell by the wayside. With the exception of Company magazine who have really made an effort to embrace the digital world (yet still at times get it horribly wrong, case in point, The Skinny Club) I turned to blogs for fashion inspiration and product reviews. With the exception of Spanish magazines which I often buy in an attempt to stop my language rusting, fashion magazines and I sort of drifted apart. As I got older I realised that Vogue, although fantastic, didn’t fit who I was any more. When I was younger that was such an aspirational subscription. I would sit in my suburban bedroom and pore over the images of clothes that cost more than my university tuition and dream. As a 28 year old woman juggling bills, holidays, being self employed and navigating the emotional rollercoaster that is life, I realised that even if I had that disposable cash, I probably wouldn’t buy those clothes.
I love print. I love holding things in my hand and I love stacking magazines and books neatly on my bookcase to pull out down the line with a cup of tea. I don’t believe that industry is dead – I have a kindle but also a bookseller boyfriend who knows my eyes will light up when he comes home with a bag of new reads, yet I didn’t know which kind of magazines were for me. I love features, so I have a Vanity Fair subscription, I’m into health and wellbeing so there’s the obvious Women’s Health in there, and our household is passionate about digital so there’s a Wired magazine coming through the letterbox every month, bought as a present for Matt but thumbed through by both of us on lazy Sunday mornings.
When it came to buying a magazine “just because” though, I had no idea where to turn. I started this post saying I’m not much of a magazine reader. After just reeling off my favourite ones I guess that isn’t entirely true, but after interest-specific ones I had no idea what to grab when I just wanted to escape. Until now. Last week after a busy time in London and in need of reading material I ran into WH Smith in Euston, laden with bags, and spotted Oh Comely. As a huge Neutral Milk Hotel fan the name called to me and not having much time before my train I quickly paid. On that journey I fell in love! This magazine is everything I was looking for. A mix of short stories, fashion, features, music and art, it’s hard to pigeonhole but easy to love. It’s beautifully printed and a pleasure to read. I might be late to this party, after all, issue seventeen is the one I grabbed, but I’m here for the long haul and made the ultimate commitment, I subscribed. I even got my friend a subscription as part of her birthday present.
Published every two months and priced at £4 (or £3 per issue as a subscriber) if you’ve fallen out of love with magazines but love reading something tangible, this might be the magazine for you.
A six month subscription usually costs £10 but with a £2 discount if I pass you on – not making any money, everyone gets a welcome email and can refer a friend and save them a couple of pounds, not sure if it’s only valid for one person but here’s the link anyhow if you want to subscribe!
What is your favourite magazine? Do you subscribe to any? Have your tastes changed over the years?
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