The Golden Era of Print Magazines by B.R. Shenoy

Magazines were such a massive part of my life growing up. My first ever magazine subscription was to Children’s Digest. Children’s Playmate soon followed in the logical progression.

To a certain extent, the 1980s and even the 1990s were a particularly heady time for the magazine industry.

The magazines of that period were glossy, gorgeous, and fun to read. They were perfect when I felt too lazy to delve into a book and just wanted to indulge in light reading without having to overthink.

As I grew into my teenage years in the early 1980s, I bought a subscription to Young Miss, later renamed Young and Modern. It was one of my favorite magazines at the time. I could not wait to check out the latest fashion, beauty trends, celebrity gossip, and interactive quizzes.

In the 1990s, I subscribed to Glamour, Mademoiselle, and Allure. I would eagerly look forward to receiving these magazines in the mailbox every month.

I still recall the excitement I felt as I flipped through the pages of the thick, beautiful magazines curled up on my sofa in the living room.

I frequently ripped important articles and new recipes out, which I would then place into a folder for future reference. As a new bride, I enjoyed cooking and experimenting with new magazine recipes in the kitchen.

I would also delight in perusing the library’s shelves checking out stacks of women’s magazines in those days. As per the library rules, we were allowed to check out all but the latest issues.

I would return home and sit contentedly for hours reading these magazines cover to cover, wholly engrossed in the content. I devoured all the fashion, beauty, nutrition, and celebrity gossip in the ink-soaked pages.

I would be so immersed in my magazines that I could forget the world around me and be completely oblivious of time.

My husband’s preferences veered towards financial and business magazines such as Forbes, Fortune, and The Economist. He was the more practical one of the two of us and always had a keen interest in successfully managing our personal finances.

We both enjoyed Newsweek and TV Guide. The aforementioned magazine was a constant in our home as we liked keeping up to date on the latest television program listings information and TV-related news. We did watch quite a few television programs as well in between all the magazine reading.

My favorites magazines of the aughts were People, Reader’s Digest, and basically any parenting magazine I could get my hands on. I was, after all, now a married mom of two young children.

My husband teased me that I should be a writer for People magazine as I was a walking encyclopedia of celebrity gossip and trivia.

I also relished leafing through magazines while waiting in line at the grocery checkout aisle during this period. Not to mention, I happily browsed through magazines while waiting patiently at the doctor’s office, the Kumon center, and the ballet studio, among other places.

To be honest, I looked forward to skimming through a good magazine for some quality me-time any chance I could get. As a busy young mom schlepping her kids from one activity to the next back in the day, it provided a lovely respite from daily life stressors.

Sadly, print magazines are dying out. Nowadays, most of us consume our fix of news, weather, and information via our electronic devices. We are always pressed for time and racing from one activity to the next, never truly savoring the moment.

What I find interesting is that people look online to find out who is on the magazine’s cover without even bothering to read the actual magazine. Time‘s person of the year illustrates my point.

Nowadays, most magazines have transitioned to the digital route. The latter does not meet my definition of a proper magazine.

Much to my chagrin, the traditional magazine industry is dying a slow death. However, I will continue to read whatever print magazines are at my disposal for the foreseeable future.

B.R. Shenoy is a married mother of two. She is a biochemistry and toxicology M.S. She is a former expat in Brazil, France, and Japan.  She is a regular writer for The Good Men Project. Her work has also appeared in Scary Mommy  and Positively Positive. 

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Twitter : @Shenoy100