Monday, January 07, 2008

Decisions, decisions

One of the gifts that I got from K this year was a year's subscription to any magazine of my choice. Seems pretty straightforward, but when you take into account how many magazines I read and love, it definitely gets hard.

Should I go with something that I would not otherwise be able to afford? K said that he was aware that I might choose an expensive magazine, but I don't think he took into account how spendy art and import magazine subscriptions can be. My top choice in this category would be the Australian foodie mag, Delicious, at $143.48 a year. The only thing I like more than eating yummy food is reading about it, and this magazine is the ultimate in food porn.

Should I add to the piles of magazines I have to keep forever by choosing a design magazine? Architectural Record, Communication Arts, Print, Interior Design, Contract, Hospitality Design, I.D.... I could go on and on, and I'm not sure that I'm even going to able to whittle down this category. The one thing to note here is that I could always buy these subscriptions myself and deduct them since they have to do with my work.

Perhaps I should go with something that I'm a little embarrassed to buy in public and would certainly never buy in view of my peers. The top choice here would be O, The Oprah Magazine. I'm a sucker for her brand of self-empowerment and self-improvement, and while I do think her personality is a little bit much at times, I do think she has helped many people in many different ways, me included. The magazine itself is useful, well-edited and pretty, and has all the girly stuff that I need to know about without making me feel like I'm being sold to constantly (though I am fully aware that everything is a sell in some way or another.)

I could go for volume and choose a weekly. Going to my mailbox after work and finding a magazine waiting for me brings me no end of joy. Having one there every week would increase my happiness and so this might be the best choice. Because I don't think I could deal with a potentially depressing news magazine every week, if I go for a weekly, it would have to be Entertainment Weekly.

A choice that would help me kill two birds with one stone would be a travel magazine. That way I could figure out where in the world I am going to escape to this year. I currently receive Travel & Leisure, but sometime in the last couple of years, the articles became less interesting and the layout more cluttered. Plus they use really cheap paper, making the photo spreads less enticing. I already get National Geographic Traveler and Budget Travel, but those magazines are more about the practical stuff...I want to open a travel magazine and salivate. The two magazines that fit the bill are Conde Nast Traveler, which I think is a much better magazine than Travel & Leisure, and Travesias. Travesias is a Mexican magazine that is gorgeously put together with thick glossy paper and beautiful photography. Plus, because it's written in Spanish, it seems even more exotic and worldly and I can rationalize that choosing it will help improve my Spanish. Though if I choose Travesias, I will most certainly go to Mexico or some other Latin American country.

The one magazine that combines a lot of the above is Wallpaper*. I have a strange relationship with this magazine in that I both love and hate what it represents. I love the art, architecture, travel, design, and gadgetry that it endorses, but sometimes, I feel it represents an impossible standard of life that most people, including me, don't have and will never have, and is a little bit too shallow and materialistic. I'm a designer, but even I recognize that the singular pursuit of glossy beauty without inner meaning or purpose can leave you pretty empty. So, if I chose Wallpaper*, it would be BYOS...bring your own soul.

So what will I choose? I'm going on a fact-finding mission later this week (Barnes & Noble and Hennessy + Ingalls on Sunday after my cupcake meetup), so I'll let you know. If you have any suggestions, feel free to chime in.


lil miss dubin said...

beware that weeklies can be oppressive, particularly if you get more than one at a time (witness my experience with new york magazine + the new yorker + 200-square-foot apartment = storage nightmare and endless guilt). but my suggestion is new york magazine. adam moss is kind of a genius, and many of the great stories have little to do with living in the city, and much to do with art or design or politics or...). that said, lucky will probably only cost your man $12/year and you can't beat it for beach reading on that vacation you're going to take...

(see, you have a reader!)

annabel lee los angeles said...

Thanks for the advice and encouragement. New York magazine sounds interesting...I'll definitely check it out. And I already subscribe to Lucky. I just wish they still had the "How I'm Wired" feature. Not only did it showcase cool gadgets, but also the successful women who actually had the jobs and lives to use them.

K said...

Although it's very sweet of you, I wouldn't worry about how much the subscription costs. If K said you could get the magazine of your choice, I would take him up on it. Get something that you wouldn't normally that is a nice treat for yourself! :-)