My Magazine Buying Era

I was in the grocery store earlier in the week and paused at the magazines on the way to the check-out. I asked myself how long it had been since I purchased one.

Quite some time. I think it was around my birthday back in the winter. I believe I bought a bouquet for myself at Trader Joe's and a magazine at the store in celebration.

I find I'm just not drawn to the magazine aisles in stores much anymore. 

First, they've gotten too expensive. And I lost interest in the decor they tended to show in decorating magazines. 

And ever problematic, how to store them?

Now I prefer to find inspiration via Pinterest or blogs.

I still have a stack of decorating and gardening magazines, fairly small now, that I have kept just to thumb through occasionally. But it seems I rarely do.

I once purchased magazines frequently. When I had more money. When the decorating was more to my liking. 

When I quilted, I bought quilting magazines. 

Back in the eighties and nineties I had big stacks of Country Living magazines, and I purchased back issues at garage sales and flea markets.

I don't think I have a single issue left though. 

There was a time when I subscribed to Time and Newsweek and avidly read each issue from cover to cover.

But these days, I get my fill of politics and world news on the internet. 

I have my own decorating style that I don't deviate from a whole heck of a lot. I will always have quilts and colorful decor in my home. So I'm not that interested in discovering new styles.

I'm kind of the same way when it comes to books. I've found myself purging so many of my books over the past few years. 

Once I realized that I was just moving the same books from home to home, and rarely opening one, I decided that was kind of ridiculous.

I love to read on my Kindle, though I never would have thought I'd say that. It's kind of nice to read a book and then delete it. And not worrying about storing it once I've read it.

Do you still buy magazines and books?


  1. Like you, not anymore. I just follow my favorite blogs and go on pinterest.

  2. Yes, I still buy magazines and books. I still prefer print and paper over digital. I get a lot of free magazine subscriptions through a company I signed up with years ago that still sends me promotions. I think there's only a couple of magazines where I actually pay for subscriptions and they're very inexpensive. For example, I just renewed Better Homes and Gardens for $5.99/year. Other magazines (the really expensive ones), I look through at Barnes and Noble. As for books, I either get them from the library or buy used ( or once in awhile, I use a 20% off coupon from B&N. Neither me nor my hubby have an e-reader and don't want one.

  3. I, too, have stopped buying magazines. They don't suit my tastes any longer, cost a fortune, add to my clutter and aren't very good for the environment. I much prefer blogs and Pinterest.

    I read all of my books on the iPad. I've kept about a dozen physical books that I love and sold or donated the rest.

  4. My daughter and I just had a conversation about magazines. Neither of us buy them much anymore. I have a collection of original Victoria and Country Living magazines in two vintage suitcases. I used to love the British Country Living but now it is mostly advertisements. The newer magazines I like are at least $15.00. It has to be an exceptionally good issue to spend that on a magazine.

  5. I use to love magazines. I would get subscriptions and look forward to each issue. My 'me' time. Then life changed and now I rarely read a magazine. I enjoy the internet and blog posts much more. Or little articles I can read online and then they are gone. I don't buy books since I pretty much am a read it once kind of person. I use the library a lot and buy some used books, but my Kindle is great and I never thought I would love it so much. I don't decorate and I don't have a yard, I don't cook and I'm not in any 'relationship' so magazines...not for me!

  6. Hi Brenda, yes, I do occasionally buy magazines but not like I used to. I don't care for a lot of the decor you see in them. But I can't remember the last time I bought a book. I used to read a lot but found at one time I could not focus on them. I am easily distracted now I guess. But maybe I will try again soon.

    1. Goodwill has some good buys for a cheap price. $2 for hardback and l.91 for paperback.

  7. I can't believe how expensive magazines have gotten (and how un-interesting). My eyes have gotten so bad, I read books mostly on my iPad where I can enlarge the print. If I find an author or paperback/hardcover book I really like, I put a note in it of the date I read it and, in 5-10-? years, get it out and read it again. I like the old books (Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, Rex Stout) where things weren't so graphic.

  8. Rarely do I buy a magazine. A friend gave me a subscription, as a Christmas present, for Mary Jane s Farm. I am enjoying the magazine. Most of my inspiration comes from blogs and Pinterest. Two of those blogs are yours and A Stoll Through Life. Patty Mc

  9. I used to love magazines before the internet, but now I prefer Pinterest for decorating inspiration. And I enjoy reading news, articles of interest, and blogs online. I never buy books as I've always gone to the library for those. I enjoy going to the library as it's nearby and gets me out of the house.

  10. In moving twice I let a few magazine subscriptions expire. The only shelter magazine I subscribe to now is Cottages & Bungalow--where I was so thrilled to see a fellow blogger recently. And we both read Garden & Gun and Yankee magazine. But when I pick up a shelter magazine at the store, intrigued by the cover, I always find that there's so little substance in it, so no thank you.

    The exception is December when I haunt the bookstores for the UK issues that are jam packed full of gorgeous Christmas photos and articles.

    I remember giving away decades worth of Country Living and Victoria years ago, finally realizing the styles had changed too much to be relevant. I still don't do Kindle because I don't read line after line well on a device. And I love to read favorite books over and over so I keep them, mostly written in the 1930s through 50s. But I have a few contemporary authors who I keep and reread, like Louise Penny, Jan Karon, Margaret Maron, and Alexander McCall Smith. And cookbooks, those I can never seem to give away, and food memoirs. Way too many books, I know, and my kids won't be able to even give them away someday when I'm gone because I make notes and highlight in almost all of them. Too bad, but at least I enjoyed them and that's what matters, not their resale value.

    Interesting subject, Brenda, but I'm sorry I got caught up and went on and on!

  11. I used to read a ton of magazines....Coastal Living, Better Homes, Country Living, etc. but now I only buy Country Sampler Spring and Fall/Holiday editions.

  12. I also have quit purchasing magazines. I do still have one subscription to Better Homes and Gardens. I get my fix on Pinterest and the blogs I follow. Occasionally I will thumb through a magazine at the grocery store, but they are too expensive for my pocketbook anymore. I do have several decorating books from thrift stores I keep in the "library", and since I like vintage style, I still enjoy looking at them.

  13. I still like magazines -- Country Gardens and Country French. I read books on my Nook. I get a lot of them free and keep all of them because I will re-read them many times. I follow a few chosen blogs but don't like Pintrest and don't even know what Instagram is. There's no way that I could sit and look at a computer all day. One of these days I may have to learn to do that but for now and for as long as I can, I'm going to continue to decorate my house - change things up occasionally and hopefully, continue to garden. As far as ads in magazines go, I've unsubscribed to some blogs because the ads just irritated me. But that's just me.

  14. I rarely buy new magazines or books preferring to shop at my favorite upscale/resale shop. The books there are only a dollar and magazines 50 cents and sometimes a bundle goes for a dollar. I can often find magazines only a month old there. I do get a free subscription to a couple of magazines. I still have stacks of old magazines that I keep intending to go through and tear out recipes and ideas.

  15. Oh, dear! Magazines--a touchy subject around here!

    I have always described myself as a "magazine slut" because I love to read them and I accumulate so many of them. Now, not just any magazine, but almost exclusively the decorating and gardening ones. I don't usually buy them off the newstands because I can get much better deals by subscribing. I'm not interested in news magazines, but I do love People magazine with all the gossip, etc. Awful, right! I never buy it, though, only read it when I'm in the doctor's or dentist's waiting room. I am only allowing myself to subscribe to three magazines now. And after I read them, they pile up because I might need to go back and read certain things again. I know, doesn't make much sense to my daughter, either! But she's a "purger" big time and it's probably a good thing she keeps pushing me to get rid of "stuff".

    I think the main thing that makes magazines so enjoyable to me is that I am a very visual person and I just love all the eye candy within those pages. I don't enjoy on-line things like Pinterest in the same way. The same way I still love a physical book in my hands. I have a ton of books, too, that I need to weed out. I don't buy many new books, but I do get used ones from thrift stores for cheap. And I have started using my local library again, too.

    Maybe I'll get to a place where I won't be interested in magazines so much anymore, but I might have to be about age ninety-nine before it happens! Or maybe something else will take their place---like gambling or watching old movies or...who knows?

  16. I have the same thoughts about the Kindle.. I love holding the book in my hand, and feel the Kindle experience will lessen my love of reading, but so many people say once they try it, they don't look back. I also used to love magazines, the only one I bother with still is Yankee Magazine because they do a fine job covering this region. Too many ads in mags nowadays, and as you said, it can all be found on the internet.

  17. I used to subscribe to and read lots of magazines. Now they are skimpy and full of ads, sort of like watching television. Little substance, lots of hawking products. Southern Living used to be my very favorite magazine but it, too, has atrophied. Used to have stacks of SL, plus the annual cookbooks...I still subscribe and still enjoy the articles. I can access hundreds of digital magazines through Zinio, via my public library.

  18. Your post is incredibly timely, because I spent last night and this morning purging about 70 books from my library. This are all wonderful hardcovers, best sellers, but I find that reading puts me to sleep. I put an ipod almost exclusively and multitask, which works out fine. I love books, the feel of them, the smell, but have too many and feel smothered by the quantity. They will better be used by others. I'm keeping my forever favorites. I've stopped all subscriptions for years, but recently subscribed to Southern Living as we are traveling and I've found that the magazine is a wealth of information. Any magazines that I've accumulated travel with me to the doctor's office and I drop them off so others can enjoy them.

  19. No magazines here either.
    My favorite is Real Simple,I get the online edition,same with books,Thank the Lord for Kindle.
    I don't want the clutter that trying to keep them makes.
    My decorating style is whatever strikes my fancy at the moment comes home but I like clean surfaces.
    Great post,Brenda:)

  20. I feel sorry for the publishing world because so many readers are drifting away from purchasing their magazines. I also used to spend a lot of money each month on mags. But so many of them are full of the same pictures the bloggers have on their sites. I felt like I had spent money to see homes I already was familiar with. I know when readership is down, prices must go up, but they are very expensive and feel like a splurge now. I also am tired of the " influencers" dictating all the neutral decor. I, personally, am sick of the white/ cream greige look. Publishers need to step away from the bloggers world for inspiration, because we are seeing those homes on blogs, instagram and Pinterest.

  21. I still have a few magazine subscriptions, although it seems the only time I have to read them is when we are in the car travelling somewhere far away and Sweetie is driving. I get sucked in when they have a great deal like $5 for the year, or free with some other purchase!

  22. I no longer buy magazines or books either. I used to be a magazine hoarder, especially the Country Sampler. I still have a few of them and the old Decorate and Craft mags that is now out of business. Those I will never part with. I also love my Kindle and even though I fought hard against the change, from the printed books to electronic, I will never go back now.

  23. I loved Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion and hated when it had to close up shop due to low ad sales, as happened to many publications at that time. I've never found another magazine that interests me as much, so I rarely buy them. My husband, on the other hand, buys two or three magazines a month related to his hobbies. He studies them and learns new techniques, and goes back and re-reads older magazines, so we do have a lot of his magazines on shelves. But, since he uses them until they're ragged, it's OK with me. He occasionally watches a hobby video on youtube, but since he's on a computer all day at work he really hates to get on the computer when he gets home. So, magazines are his biggest source of information. We also go to the library at least once a week, sometimes twice, to get books. We don't have a Kindle and have no plans to get one, because we like books as a way to get an escape from electronic devices.

  24. I too love a magazine in my hand. I pick up a magazine every single night before I turn my light off. I can't get used to looking at a magazine on my Nook or on the computer. But they accumulate to the point that I basically have stopped buying them, the cost is outrageous! I have no solution but to weed them out every so often and another thing, a stack of magazines is so heavy.

  25. I still subscribe to Country Living and HGTV magazines. I especially enjoy the paint selections they put out every month in HGTV but you're correct about the prices. I have found as a subscriber, you can sometimes get a better rate by calling them before renewing.

  26. Oh my this is timely! I still have all issues of Victoria and Home Companion but wonder if it's time for them to find a new home. Oh and there's the box of Christmas magazines since the 1980s! I've gotten tired of all the ads and a flimsy article or two with few pictures and even less text; I can still read proper grammar. But, I feel that my style really isn't impacted by trends anymore since I seem to crave the same items that I've loved since high school. Now, I am more inclined to traipse about blogs and Pinterest.


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