Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Latest Shopping Spree, Part II

My latest trip to the bookstore, just a couple hours ago this afternoon, ended with me walking out with two magazines:

Monocle (June 2009): Another giant issue (more than 200 pages, I think, counting the inserts) from Financial Times columnist Tyler Brûlé. We get the only magazine that includes Lebanon's elections, Sarkozy, manga, an aviation survey, a look at Mongolia's capital, Obama's White House designing, and a report on the Karachi, Pakistan, police forces. I have no idea if this magazine is a resounding financial success, but I hope it is. It is a big part of my evolving view that these globally-fucused, hefty hefts are the successful magazines of the future, like my new best friend forever, Winq. I'll write more on this theory in the future.

Smithsonian (June 2009): What made me pick up this issue? I've always been impressed by this fine magazine, and I buy several issues of it every year. My mother used to bring home stacks of them from the publishing company where she worked. But my partner's a Frank Lloyd Wright fan, and they've got an article on Wright, so ... magazine purchased.

And then there are the magazines I almost bought, even carrying them with me until I decided for certain that I didn't want to spend money on them:

Deathray (June/July 2009): In my continuing effort to find a science fiction media magazine to replace the hole in my heart left by the print cessation (er, hiatus) of Starlog, I have been trying to choose between SFX, Deathray, and SciFi Now. Problem is, all three oversized British mags are so bleeping similar that one is left walking away from all of them. I had a Deathray in my hands, but before I went to the checkout counter, I realized I hadn't read the April/May issue (had barely opened it), so why spring for an entirely new issue?

Discover (July/August 2009): A decade or two ago, my sister gave me a copy of an annual Best Science Writing of the Year anthology, and I loved it. I learned in the books' introduction that Discover magazine was one of the founders of a new type of popular science writing -- intelligent, accessible to the non-expert, and high-quality. I've read it off and on over the years, even subscribing once or twice. But I have to admit I hate-hate-hated the redesign instituted a few years ago when Bob Guccione Jr. took over the mag (and that's not a knock on Guccione; I see him as someone who's done a hell of a lot of things I wish I'd had the money to do in the magazine industry; I have a premiere issue of Spin magazine just a foot away from my keyboard as I write this, as a matter of fact, and I thought it was great when I heard a rumor that he was interested in reviving Omni as a quarterly, because it fed my own interest in restarting a late science/SF magazine). Anyway, this magazine just didn't make the final should-I-or-shouldn't-I decision as I was toting up the damage from my magazine grazing (particularly in light of my subscription to the weekly New Scientist), so back to the newsstand it went.

Maybe I should write one of these posts on the mags I'm buying used on eBay???

My previous shopping spree

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