Magazines are big money-guzzlers, offering rehashes of old stories to entice people to buy them. Yet our vices are persistent, and I may very well end up writing for a periodical in the future. Now, I still read magazines such as Time, Macworld and other pulps on photography but I hardly fork out any money for them anymore. There was a time when I did though, and here are some endearing ones I fondly remember, and (gasp) subject them to aging and depreciation in my personal library.
1. Writer’s Digest
I read this religiously for a time. It did help with tips and all, but never actually hitting the depth of substance found in writing books. The problem with writing books is they take longer to read, and so without proper discipline, they get left on my shelf untouched.
This is a mag as American as the Big Mac. Lots of sarcastic humor and also served as a bible for American comics and pop culture. I stuck with this for the longest time, for about 50 issues. Then it got thinner and more expensive. Finally I decided to part ways when my pull-list of comics got severely cut. I still read comics though, just not to the level of insanity when I started 10 years ago.
3. PC Gamer (US Edition)
Once again, you can tell the US and UK editions apart with the Americans’ condescending voice, never shying away from expressing their “all-hail-the-truth” opinions. But that’s what I enjoyed about this mag. That and the unavoidable fact that I had a PC and no consoles, so whatever gaming had to be done there. Good thing I also avoided addiction to gaming, otherwise I’d probably still be pulling this off the shelf every month.
4. Fine Scale Modeler
A very niche publication, as those of you who haven’t heard or seen it will vouch for. For a few years, I dived into building models (of fighter jets, ships, what else?) after being inspired by a childhood friend. Surprisingly I had the meticulousness and temper-testing patience to be good at it. The magazine wasn’t very helpful as it is geared toward more seasoned builders and I was merely starting out at the time. Perhaps one day I’ll post up photos of those few models that I have.
5. Web Designer
The most expensive of the lot, and the most visually stunning. This reminds me of the heyday of web publishing, when I had websites (the very well received but long shut-down 100bullets.com) instead of a blog. With the mag, I taught myself a bit of Dreamweaver and Photoshop so it wasn’t a total waste. But no way can it justify the S$20+ price tag every month. Damn these UK magazines and their Pound pricing.