Issue by Issue

One of the branches of writing that is slowly declining is the magazine. The idea of flipping pages to look at ads only to find an article written by a premiere news reporter is slowly becoming a lost art.

Even though I like magazines, thankfully I don’t check the boxes to that three magazine subscription request that came in the mail last year. Every now and then, I somehow receive a free trial subscription from magazines such as Runner’s World, Muscle & Fitness, or Golf Digest and enjoy articles. While they have motivational articles, sometimes they are not my cup of tea. Then what happens is I accumulate a large supply of magazines and think that I have to keep every single one of them – for “later reference.” But I know me, and unfortunately, I never take a second glance at those older issues – Good thing I didn’t pay for them!

There are two magazines however, that I subscribe to that whenever I get them in the mailbox, I drop what I am doing and skim through to see what is new within their pages. The first magazine is the Trombone Journal from the International Trombone Association (yes, it is a thing). I have been a member of the ITA since 2003, and my father has been a member since its inception back in the 1970s. This magazine that is distributed worldwide only comes out once a quarter, and it is jam-packed with news, tips, interviews, and features for my favorite instrument. Even though they offer the option of an e-journal, I will subscribe to the physical journal as long as they offer it.

The other magazine has been in my subscription series for the past few years, and keeps me in tune with Southern culture. Even though I was born and raised in Florida, I wasn’t fully aware of my Southern surroundings (weird, sheltered kid syndrome). Sure our families would visit the neighboring Southern states but it was for all of that touristy stuff, and not the true heart of what makes Southern culture Southern. Although I may have gotten a glimpse here and there, I wouldn’t remember it and didn’t appreciate it at the time.

But as the saying goes, absence makes the hard grow fonder.

Then I heard about Garden & Gun, a newer magazine with a subtitle of “Soul of the South.” Even though I do not have a garden (yet!) and am not big into guns, this magazine has opened my eyes to a world of which I enjoy and sometimes long for. There is something about reading a story about a man’s best friend, a.k.a., a dog, through the eyes of a famous Southern writer. There is something about reading about the intricacies of a classic Southern food dish that makes me want to cook, or attempt to cook, that same dish. It is because of this magazine that I haven’t gotten into the essence of barbecue and a simpler way of living.

You may ask, “Why should we care about your magazine reading habits?” While these are not necessarily endorsement of my favorite magazines, but merely an example. One of my new daily habits is to read one article a day from one of these magazines. Remember how I said I skim through pages when they first arrive? Well what has happened is that I skim through then forget about the magazine. I rarely read the articles. Before you know it, the next issue has arrived in the mail, and I can’t find the previous volume.

Small daily habits build into large amounts of knowledge. And every now and then, that small article could be just the article to invoke a spark in my life.

Do you subscribe to any magazines? Do you still believe in the physical-ness of a magazine or do you enjoy e-journals instead? Comment below as I would love to hear about what you read.

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