why i quit magazines.

03.03.2011 / myKind

A few months ago, I went through the pile of endless magazine stacks in my office and noticed how few I really read. Thousands of glossy pages went untouched last year, and I can’t bear to think of how many times I walked past that stack and felt guilty, wasteful and uneconomical.

In an effort to streamline my belongings and enter a more “grown-up” phase of my life (sweet Grace wrote a fantastic post about grown-up things a few weeks ago!), I made the decision to cancel all subscriptions, declare magazine bankruptcy and start from scratch.

Since then, I’ve noticed a very subtle shift in a few areas of my life:

To be honest, this has been a small shift, as subscriptions are far cheaper than picking up a monthly copy of your favorite magazine on the newsstand. When I travel, I always stock up on the usual suspects (Real Simple, ReadyMade and Lucky are a few I frequent), and lately I’ve been traveling pretty frequently. But, I’m still saving money, and I’m slowly realizing which magazines I enjoy reading, and which add to the noise. I’ve quickly realized that there are 3-4 select mags that I do actually miss, and plan to subscribe to those next year (rather than the 12 I canceled this year!).

This goes without saying, but having an empty space where endless stacks of magazines once resided was a nice bonus. My mind has been considerably less overwhelmed these past few months as I stare at a [nearly] empty surface on my desk. Look who’s becoming a minimalist? Wow!

I was super surprised by this shift, as I’ve never had much of an issue with body image. With that said, I’ve thought much less about what clothing is “in” this season and much more about what I’m inspired to wear. And because I’m no longer seeing air-brushed beauties on countless covers, I think far less about my abs (which don’t exist, FYI) and far more about cheese. I like that.

I’ve found that the priority of print in my life has shifted. I’m a firm believer that print is not dead, and I like that I have extra pocket change to invest in quality, independent publications (Anthology, Elephant and Uppercase are frequent purchases of mine). I love that I can be committed to the growth of both print and independent ideas. Huge bonus.

Surprisingly, I haven’t been lacking in the inspiration department. Sure, I live a large portion of my life online and see countless inspiring images daily, but I do also love the tangible effect of taping glossy paper to my wall. Luckily, I’ve been high on inspiration with a few (free!) catalogs that come sweeping into my mailbox daily (Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Toast are a few that showcase beautiful interiors and style!). Thank you, art directors.

What about you, friends? To subscribe or not to subscribe?

  • i LOVE hearing your insights, friends! the important thing is we do what’s right for our own life and are open to change/shift in the future. i mean, gracious. who knows if i’ll be back to 20 next year again! (although i doubt it! — this is kind of awesome right now!)

  • Great post! I am going through the same thing right now. I am ripping them apart and keeping only the articles and images that inspire me. I had stacks and stacks of magazines and now that I am going through them I realize most are from 2006!

  • I love what you said about self-worth. I have been doing a TON of research for upcoming high school senior stuff and have found my self worth being totaled as I sift through magazine after magazine. It’s amazing how we don’t think it affects us but it internalizes somehow. Thanks for sharing!

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