An avid reader- mostly non-fiction these days, I enjoy magazines... always have. I think it's partly due to the fact that I love snail mail and the thought that there will always be something in the mail once a month, guaranteed? A marketing major in college, I enjoy seeing the way things are laid out, the photos, ads and creativity involved.
I subscribed to Tiger Beat as a little girl, Seventeen as a teenager, Vogue and Shape in college, and now as a mom, Real Simple and yogi, Yoga Journal, and wanna be cyclist, Bicycle magazine. I also went through a phase where I read Martha Stewart Living (never mind that I don't cook or never once tried one of her complicated craft projects). I won't even mention the sheer number of catalogs I used to get!
I was featured in Malaysian version of Shape for yoga. Sold ads, published, and Jason and son #1 were once on the cover of another Malaysian magazine, Bonda (for ibu, a non-profit organization in KL).
I'm in the process of letting all the subscriptions run out. I suppose if I were really serious, about the environment and tree saving, I would cancel them now. But, a part of me wants that feeling of something in the mail. Even my kids love it, thanks to their grandparents, they get Ranger Rick and National Geographic. We also take the newspaper, which son #1 reads daily. (He informs me of happenings in Houston -- art car parade, anyone?-- and what the funniest cartoon is for the day. I think it's encouraged Nathan's reading, and caused it flourish. It also helps that I don't allow the TV on during the week.)
I could launch into non-hoarding, aparigraha. (I don't want to end up like my grandma Walker, with piles and piles of magazines and newspapers for someone else to dispose of when I'm gone. We took car loads of her right-wing newspaper (she voted for Ross Perot) and Prevention magazines. (Ironically, she never once went to the doctor, she even gave birth to her children in the same one room house where she grew up.) What I really think of when I look at the root of my magazine habit... is contentment. When I read articles that tell me that I need to lose weight (size 0 is what most models are), that I should be cooking, cleaning and organizing in a particular way, owning the best brand of bike, shoe or even yoga mat, it's discouraging! Basically, I hope that I'm discerning enough not to fall prey to marketing, but what I think it does is plant those little seeds of doubt (in myself) and desire (for stuff).
Samtosad Anuttamah Sukha Labhah.
"Contentment means to be as we are without going to outside things for our happiness. If something comes, we let it come. If not, it doesn't matter. We are unaffected either way. We are content when we are totally present and not wishing for the future."-- Anand
Yoga Sutra 2.42