Saturday, 4 September 2010

On women's magazines

What do you think of women's magazines? I've stopped looking at them, even in the hairdressers. It baffles me that they still exist. Lots of people on Twitter seem to write for them, I have to bite my tongue. I stand in front of newsagents' shelves for 10 minutes hesitating and walk out without buying anything. I am a woman but they're not for me. And it's weird that a something good like Jezebel can exist happily online but not in print. Still miss the Face. It was the only magazine that seemed to be for everyone.

Also stopped reading Saturday and Sunday papers (the tutor at the summer workshop inadvertently killed them dead by remarking "They're just sick. Pages & pages of all this stuff you're supposed to want and articles about terrible things happening somewhere else in the world - and there's so much of them it would take you all weekend to read it all, when you could be hanging out with your friends and family." I'll never buy one again as long as I live.)

Oh print media, I do miss you though. What do you read?

15 comments:

  1. I used to by the Face! And NME, Spare Rib and The Spectator. Can't remember any women's magazines that I liked - Cosmo was obsessed with sex and that bewildered me even twenty five years ago and the adverts in all the glossies I saw used to depress me. The last magazine I subscribed to was The Oldie mainly because Beryl Bainbridge used to review for it. Oh and The Literary Review - I remember enjoying that.
    I couldn't always buy them but the New York Review of Books and The London Review of Books were my favorite library reads. Or for a journey as they weren't inky.
    I take a book to the hairdresser.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wired, the Economist, some women's magazines (I like Red) and I love the weekend papers, probably because I don't have any friends or family to spend weekends hanging out with.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I used to buy the NME too Arabella. You don't sound old and crazy, you sound very literary. I should read the London Review of Books, it's meant to be great. They don't have it in Leytonstone or Bow though, can't think why not.

    I'm too lightweight for Wired and the Economist GSE - aw, I don't always see friends or family on weekends but I still hate the weekend papers. They're lies and propaganda, I tell you! Just as bad as women's magazines for trying to make you feel rubbish & inadequate, I reckon.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Do any of them make a profit any more?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Geoff: The Economist does OK, I think, although whether it would survive without all those strange conferences and things, I’m not sure.

    I used to be a real mag junkie, but now I just pick something up it seems to have at least three really interesting articles, or if I’ve got a long plane/train journey. Pick from Economist, Private Eye, Mojo, The Word, The Wire, Sight & Sound, NYRB, BookForum, maybe Harper’s. I miss Blitz and the Modern Review, I miss the NME as it was in about 1986, and I used to find Loaded amusing, right at the beginning when they had people like Michael Caine on the cover, not weird, shiny women in their pants.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I stopped reading the Sunday Papers a few years ago... life if too short to wade through all that tat
    My magazine list is rather eclectic... The Word, The Economist, Fortean Times, New Humanist, WSC (When Saturday Comes), New Statesman and very, very occasionally, Private Eye, if the cover is good

    ReplyDelete
  7. Geoff, I wonder... I guess they still make their money with advertising, but a friend who was a freelancer had to find a different career because work was drying up so much, so times must be tight.

    That's probably the best way to approach them, Tim, as occasionally buys - the days are gone when I used to wait for the weekly music papers breathlessly. I remember us reading the men's mags like Loaded & GQ at college before they went over the top, it was interesting reading things from a male perspective. Much less pressurising & prescriptive on their readers than women's mags.

    Steve, I remember a magazine called New Society which got bought out by New Statesman - it was a shame because New Society was less about politics in Westminster and more about wider issues in society. Just had a look at the Word and the New Humanist, they look good.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Can't live without the written word. I gave up on women's mags years ago, for the same reasons. From habit I still get the Indy, but sometimes feel like flinging it across the room. It has a giant Sudoku (16x16) which ruins my Saturday. The FT weekend edition is good for arts coverage and the news coverage is more objective and in depth than most. OH gets the Economist too, so I flip through that. The TLS seems to arrive almost daily and piles up accusingly. I subscribe to quite a few literary mags, but if I had to limit myself to one only it would be NYRB. First rate reviews and essays, and I'm really going to miss Tony Judt's fabulous memoirs. But I'm shallow really, hence the sudoku habit.

    Oh and the FT is still a broadsheet so it's great for wrapping things up, like potato peelings.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I like The Wire because they cover oddball music nobody else does. I do sometimes read Private Eye, though the smugness irritates me. Sometimes Vanity Fair.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anne, right, the FT is another good tip. I realise part of the reason is that the newsagents where I live don't stock that wide a range. It's also good for taking into school to cover tables with, as there is less likelihood of the kids spotting pictures of naked ladies on it.

    Billy, I used to like reading Private Eye when my old flatmate bought it. She worked in government & a lot of it seems kind of cliquey jokes. Vanity Fair!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Where do you get all these classy magazines? All they have in the local newsagents are grim True Life story magazines & porn.

    When your horse book is published will you have a launch party over here? Can I come, pleeeease?? ( I know nothing about horses but I can pretend)

    ReplyDelete
  12. IF IF possible I want to have a launch party at the Horse Hospital. And of course you should come!

    I have a subscription to the New Yorker - my annual Christmas present from parents. It is expensive, but the journalism is superb.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great idea. Hurray! I've been on their mailing list for a long time but have never been. I don't think I've ever read the New Yorker.

    ReplyDelete