Although I have a couple of books on the go, a lot of my reading, lately, has been made up of various interesting magazines and short novella’s/poems. When I was younger I used to buy the typical ‘women’s’ magazines, such as Cosmopolitan and Company, unwilling to part with £3-4 but wanting to read something that was in print, but in much more sizeable portions. They just happened to be the only available magazines in the mainstream supermarkets, local shops and WHSmiths. However, none of them ever made me think about anything other than what clothes or products I should buy to look better. For years I have refused to buy these magazines, they were always a complete waste of money. It is only really since moving to Hong Kong and being a regular visitor of Kubrick that I have found, or been directed to, a wide variety of magazines that aren’t labelled simply as just ‘men’s’ or just ‘women’s’.
Here are some of the magazines I have been reading:
Adbusters – describing itself as ‘a global network of artists, writers, pranksters, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want to advance the new social activist movement of the information age’, Adbusters is full of well-written, informative articles on current issues as well as thought-provoking and subversive images. Although it is a bit expensive (I think it works out as around £7-8 back in the UK), Adbusters is published bi-monthly and well worth the money for a beautifully well-made magazine free of corporate advertising. I have been scouring the shelves every time I visit Kubrick to find older back-copies and have accumulated a very impressive stash. I have also signed up for an online subscription (the ‘wise’ decision for a transient being like me) so that I can get the most recent issues in digital format.
Oh Comely – I first heard about this magazine through Emma’s blog, Fleur of Spring (originally Turning Pages and Tea), where she partook in the Perfect Strangers Project. Full of inspiring females with interesting careers, either in the arts of sciences, Oh Comely is proffered as a ‘lifestyle magazine with life’. As soon as I saw a couple of copies in Kubrick I knew I had to get them immediately. There is also the option of spending a bit more money to get a box of carefully-selected, handmade gifts (though it wasn’t available in Kubrick). I can’t wait to try this out when I return to the UK.
The Happy Reader – created by Penguin, The Happy Reader is a magazine for book-lovers written by book-lovers. I unexpectedly stumbled across the first two issues a couple of weeks ago (again, in Kubrick) and had read all about it in the blogging world. I was so happy to find them that I devoured both copies within a couple of days. I am now hoping that the Summer edition will arrive in Kubrick before I leave Hong Kong.
Penguins Little Black Classics – I have been on a book-buying ban since sending home a huge box of books (most of them unread) a couple of weeks ago. Not only did they make my arms ache for days afterwards but also cost quite a bit of money. Instead, I have been buying smaller things that will fit in my luggage (though I probably shouldn’t even be doing that). I found these three beauties, not in Kubrick, but in Swindons bookshop the other week. I studied Christina Rosetti’s Goblin Market in my first year of university and was intrigued by it’s pre-eminence of the female subject and consumerism. I have only read Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel North and South before (which I absolutely adored as a teenager, it was one of those books I remember reading until the early hours of the morning on a school night – the BBC adaptation was also amazing from what I remember). I have never read any Edith Wharton but I do have a couple of her books back home which I have been meaning to read. I have so far read the first short story in this collection and it was a very moving tale of an elderly widow whose only enjoyment left in life was to watch the view from her window. I am looking forward to reading the rest of these bite-size chunks of literature.