I love magazines – at one time I used to subscribe to about 25 or more. Nowadays I prefer to read more books and less monthlies, but I’m not a casual picker-up of occasional issues in general – I always subscribe to get the best deal, (this has been made a lot easier by using Tesco Clubcard points for many publications!). Although I’ve reduced the number a lot, there are still quite a few monthly must-reads for me, including:
- Empire – I’ve read this since issue 1, and for my money it’s the best UK movie mag. I tried Sight and Sound for a while, but that was just too intellectual. Empire has a bit of everything in the film world.
- The Word – I used to get Mojo and before that Q for all my music needs, but moved to The Word along with all the ex-Mojo and Q journos like Mark Ellen who jumped off the Emap ship to set up this independent mostly-music mag. It also happens to feature a bit of TV, books, film and anything else that takes their fancy, and has a great CD sampler each month.
- Vanity Fair – Some issues are all about American businessmen, more minor US politicans, or US TV folk that are unknown in the UK, but they do land some biggie-interviews and it’s worth subscribing on one of their half-price offers to catch them. Their photography portfolios of film stars etc are always good to look at too.
- National Geographic – I started subscribing to this last year (using a Tesco deal), and was totally wowed by it. The articles and photography are just astounding, and although slightly US-centred, it’s absolutely fascinating from cover to cover. Big feature on that mummified baby mammoth this month!
- The Literary Review – I couldn’t get on with The London Review of Books or The Times Lit Supplement, but love the Lit Review. I even enjoy reading the entries in their monthly poetry competition. The reviews are history heavy – but that saves me having to read much of the subject. Fiction does get a look in too and there’s a crime digest each issue. Chris Riddell’s covers are always brilliant and the pithy captions to illustrations are often highly amusing.
- Living etc – of all the housey mags, this is my favourite. The interiors within are trendy, eclectic, often white and minimalist, sometimes bright and delightfully cluttered. These are all what I’d like my house to be – but will never manage because I have too many books and not enough space!
- Good Housekeeping – this is my guilty secret. It’s a comfort read. Useful consumer articles, good recipes. I only get it so I can pass it on to my Mum, (said with crossed-fingers behind back). I get Easy Living too – for 30-40 somethings who don’t want to read Marie Claire and the like any more.
- Wired – This is brand new in the UK. I missed the launch issue, but got No 2 yesterday and was instantly hooked. It is a beautifully designed mag full of lots of wonderful things to drool over, plus many very interesting techy articles. Unfortunately I may have to save it until I get my eyes tested, some of the print is very small and I need new reading glasses!
If I could have just one of them though, it’d have to be The Word. Having grown up with the guys (and a few gals) who write it through their previous ventures, I feel particularly in tune with their slightly geeky world. Now available with Tesco deal tokens too, but you can check out The Word website here.